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Photomultiplier tube calibration based on Na lidar observation and its effect on heat flux bias

Abstract

Na lidar can measure vertical wind and temperature at high temporal and vertical resolutions, enough to resolve gravity wave perturbations. Heat flux due to dissipating gravity waves is an important quantity that can be derived from such perturbations. When lidar signals are high, a photomultiplier tube (PMT) used to count incoming photons may suffer from the saturation effect, and its output count is not linearly related to incoming photon counts. Corrections to this effect can be measured in a laboratory setting but may have large errors at high count rates. We show that the errors in the PMT correction can cause significant bias in the heat flux calculation due to the inherent correlation between wind and temperature errors. Using the measurements made by Na lidar at the Andes Lidar Observatory with Hamamatsu PMTs, we developed a calibration procedure to remove such PMT correction errors from laboratory measurements. By applying the revised PMT correction curve we demonstrated that the heat flux bias can be removed through this procedure.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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