Real-time, high-frequency measurements of atmospheric ozone are becoming increasingly important to understand the impact of ozone towards climate change, to monitor and understand depletion of the ozone layer, to further understand its role in atmospheric chemistry, and to assess its impact on human health and the productivity of agricultural crops. Expansions of tropospheric ozone measurement efforts, such as NASA’s TOLNet program, are critical to improve our understanding these effects. In response to this need, Bridger Photonics Inc proposes developing an autonomous ozone profiler based on a differential absorption lidar (DIAL) measurement. The proposed instrument would enable widespread deployment of turn-key ozone DIAL systems capable of continuous range-resolved atmospheric ozone measurements from ground-based platforms to advance NASA’s Earth science mission and fill a market need for an integrated ozone monitoring instrument for a non-technical customer base. To achieve this design goal, in this Phase I effort Bridger will integrate its UV lidar transmitter (developed in a previous NASA SBIR process) into a complete lidar system, design and test several additional critical subsystems, and develop mechanical system plans for a prototype unit. A Phase II workplan would construct an instrument based on these plans and test it in a laboratory and mission relevant setting.
NASA’s primary application for the proposed transmitter would be for widespread deployment of ground-based and airborne sensors to map ozone concentrations with high spatial and temporal resolution such as with NASA’s TOLNet program. This system will be highly useful for both integrated column and range-resolved measurements due to its short pulse durations and scalable high energies and will be tailored to TOLNet’s needs through Bridger’s close contact with those research groups.
Within the broader air quality control market both NOAA and the EPA, as well as local municipalities, would be potential customers for this instrument to advance their ozone monitoring initiatives. Additionally, research institutions such as universities and government labs would be interest in such a tool for research into atmospheric chemistry.