Atmospheric Remote Sensing: Instruments

Commercial scanning Doppler lidar (Dalek)

Dalek01 and Dalek02 are two commercial scanning Doppler lidar (S200) from Vaisala (formerly Leosphere). They are capable of measuring and mapping atmospheric velocity and backscatter with high precision and sampling rate necessary for boundary layer studies important to understanding weather, climate and air quality. They are suitable for long term unattended measurements. Research applications include:

  • High spatial temporal and velocity resolution wind profiles
  • Boundary layer turbulence and entrainment zone studies
  • Flux measurements
  • LES model initialization and validation
Dalek 1 instrument Dalek 2 instrument
Dalek01 and Dalek02 intermittent installations at the David Skaggs Research Center (DSRC).

Basic Parameters Measured

  • Range resolved line-of-sight velocity profiles
  • Range resolved backscatter intensity

Typical Measurement Scan

  • Scan Duration: 15-20 minutes
  • PPI scans: 1, 5, 15, 35, 75 degrees

Typical Specifications

Wavelength1.5 µm (fully eye-safe)
Pulse energy~50 µJ
Pulse rate10 kHz
Range Resolution50 m
Time Resolution2 Hz (5000 pulse averages)
Velocity Precision~5 cm/s
Minimum range100 m
Maximum range9 km (typically 3 km)

Field Projects

Project NameDateLocation
CUPiDSCoastal Urban Plume Dynamics Study202306June - August 2023NYC region
SUNVExSouthwest Urban NOx and VOC Experiment202106Summer 2021Las Vegas, Nevada and Los Angeles, California
LAFELand-Atmosphere Feedback Experiment201707 July - September 2017Lamont, Oklahoma
WFIP22nd Wind Forecast Improvement Project201609 September - October 2016Columbia River Basin
XPIAExperimental Measurement Campaign (XMC) for Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) Instrument Assessment201509 March - June 2015Erie, Colorado
INFluxIndiana Flux Study201708August - December 2017Indianapolis, Indiana


Bonin, T.A., A. Choukulkar, W.A. Brewer, S.P. Sandberg, A.M. Weickmann, Y. Pichugina, R.M. Banta, S.P. Oncley, and D.E. Wolfe, Evaluation of Turbulence Measurement Techniques from a Single Doppler Lidar, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, doi:10.5194/amt-10-3021-2017, 2017.

Choukulkar, A., W.A. Brewer, S.P. Sandberg, A. Weickmann, T.A. Bonin, R.M. Hardesty, J.K. Lundquist, R. Delgado, G.V. Iungo, R. Ashton, M. Debnath, L. Bianco, J.M. Wilczak, S. Oncley, and D. Wolfe, Evaluation of single and multiple Doppler lidar techniques to measure complex flow during the XPIA field campaign, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, doi:10.5194/amt-10-247-2017, 2017.