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Scattering of high-power laser radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere and its influence on the operation of active and passive lidars

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This paper presents the results of a theoretical and experimental study of the amount of backscattering of light in a weakly turbid atmosphere when testing a ground-based lidar operating in continuous or quasi-continuous mode, when it is impossible to perform gating and eliminate the effect of backscattering of light in the atmosphere on a signal received by the lidar. The theoretical calculations performed on the backscatter value on horizontal paths are consistent with the results of the experiment conducted on the ground. The slight discrepancy between the theoretical and experimental data is due to cloudy weather and the presence of moisture in the atmosphere. Spreading the detector and transmitter 25 cm apart resulted in a reduction of the backscattering to the magnitude of the photodetector noise. Based on the obtained experimental and theoretical results, the possibility of detecting high-power optical radiation with passive lidars is discussed.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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