Remote Sensing of Temperature and Speed of Sound in the Ocean

Artist rendition of a completed system

We are working on the realization of a Brillouin LIDAR system for the
remote air-plane based measurement of water temperature in the ocean.

The system will for the first time provide the capability of
highly accurate remote sensing of temperature and sound velocity profiles
in the ocean. There presently does not exist a remote sensing technique
that can achieve the required accuracy of at least 0.1 K. This new approach
will be very sensitive and large areas can be surveyed in short periods of
time - a requirement vital to large scale measurement campaigns required
for long term climate surveys and weather forecasting such as hurricane movements.


The goal of this project is the development of a LIDAR transceiver capable of
measuring the water temperature up to a depth of 100 m in clear ocean. The basic principle used is the precise measurement of the small frequency shift of the laser radiation due to Brillouin scattering in the water.


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Prof. Dr. Thomas Walther

Laser und Quantenoptik
Institut für Angewandte Physik
Fachbereich 05 - Physik
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Schlossgartenstr. 7
D-64289 Darmstadt

+49 6151 16-20831 (Sekretariat)

+49 6151 16-20834



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