Water vapour in the atmosphere is one of the key-substances, controlling both weather and climate. Moreover, it plays a central role in atmospheric chemistry.
Differential absorption lidar (DIAL) systems have been used for the measurements of water vapour from ground-based and aircraft platform for two decades. Based on the expertise gained with airborne DIAL water vapour measurements, the DLR lidar group proposed WALES ( Wa ter Vapor L idar E xperiment in S pace, Project leader ) for an ESA Earth Explorer opportunity mission. Extensive studies have been carried out by the group, clearly demonstrating both the technical feasibility of a space borne DIAL and its positive impact on weather prediction and climate change issues. To support this proposal DLR initiated a project for an airborne lidar system.
OS participates in WALES with several work packages, e.g. for simulation and modelling, spectral and radiometric calibration and optics calculations.