Skip to Main Content
In this paper, we present the development of an axial aircraft wake vortex light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensor, working in Mie scattering regime, based on pulsed 1.5-mu m high-brightness large-core fiber amplifier. An end-to-end Doppler heterodyne LIDAR simulator is used for the LIDAR design. The simulation includes the observation geometry, the wake vortex velocity image, the scanning pattern, the LIDAR instrument, the wind turbulence outside the vortex, and the signal processing. An innovative high-brightness pulsed 1.5-mum laser source is described, based on a master oscillator power fiber amplifier (MOPFA) architecture with a large-core fiber. The obtained beam quality is excellent (M 2 = 1.3), and achieved pulsed energy is 120 muJ with a pulse repetition frequency of 12 kHz and a pulse duration of 800 ns. A Doppler heterodyne LIDAR is developed based on this laser source with a high-isolation free-space circulator. The LIDAR includes a real-time display of the wind field. Wind dispersion is postprocessed. Field tests carried out at Orly airport in April 2008 are reported. Axial aircraft wake vortex signatures have been successfully observed and acquired at a range of 1.2 km with axial resolution of 75 m for the first time with fiber laser source.