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Laser Lights On! Lanzhou Lidar Detection System is Unveiled


The Lidar research team of APM has led the lidar detection system construction in Lanzhou Taiyuzhong Station, which is designed to measure wind and temperature in the middle and high atmosphere. Recently, the lidar system sent out the first laser light and received the first echo signal, marking the success of the construction mission. 

The lidar system is located at the Cueying Mountain of the Loess Plateau at an altitude of nearly 2,000 meters in Yuzhong County, Lanzhou City. It is an essential observation site in the second phase of the Meridian Project of Space environment foundation monitoring network (hereinafter referred to as the “Project”) under the National Major Science and Technology Infrastructure Construction Plan. The system is to detect the middle and upper atmospheric wind field, temperature and sodium atom density of all time.

The increasing human space activities bring forward the pressing need for current reports and forecasts of near-space weather. Lidar plays an important role in the Project due to its advantageous detection performance of high temporal and spatial resolution in the middle and upper atmosphere. The lidar system integrates many key technological breakthroughs by the team, including: laser frequency stabilization technology by atomic saturable absorption, linewidth compression technology based on high-power pulsed injection seeded laser, laser emission and receiving field of view high-precision matching technology, efficient background interference suppression technology by ultra-narrowband atomic filter, etc., and thus achieving full-time detection of wind field, temperature and density of the middle and upper atmosphere.

The team carried forward the spirit of unity and cooperation, and overcame difficulties brought by the epidemic, unfavorable weather and harsh field conditions during the construction stage. They are epitomes of scientists in the new era who always pioneer in the development of advanced technologies despite of numerous bumps and hiccups.

Lanzhou Taiyuzhong Station lidar detection system (Image by APM)