Measurements that provide vertically-resolved wind profile information globally are critical for climate studies and for improving numerical weather prediction. But high temporal resolution sub scale measurement of the horizontal wind field is equally important, particularly for detecting clear-air turbulence or wake vortices that are recognized hazards for commercial aviation.
John Herbst and Patrick Vrancken have just published a work describing the development of a compact Fringe-Imaging Michelson interferometer to be used for measuring tiny frequency shifts (of the order of tens of MHz) appearing in lidar signals backscattered by the molecules due to the Doppler effect. The primary feature that sets this novel interferometer apart from others is its high thermo-mechanical stability. This stability makes the device’s performance largely insensitive to atmospheric conditions, and therefore a perfect candidate to be deployed onboard commercial aircraft where rapid measurement and data analysis are needed for pilot/mitigation strategies in case of sudden wind veer/shear.
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