29 Apr 2024
 | 29 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

The ALOMAR Rayleigh/Mie/Raman lidar: status after 30 years of operation

Jens Fiedler and Gerd Baumgarten

Abstract. The ALOMAR Rayleigh/Mie/Raman (RMR) lidar is an active remote sensing instrument for investigation of the Arctic middle atmosphere on a routine basis during day and night. It was installed on the island of Andøya in Northern Norway (69° N, 16° E) in summer 1994. During the past 30 years of operation, more than 20,200 hours of atmospheric data were measured, approx. 60 % thereof during sunlit conditions. At present, the RMR lidar is the only system measuring aerosols, temperature, and horizontal winds simultaneously and during daytime in the middle atmosphere. We report on the current status of the lidar, including major upgrades made during recent years. This involves a new generation of power lasers and new systems for synchronization, data acquisition, and spectral monitoring of each single laser pulse. Lidar measurements benefit significantly from a control system for augmented operation with automated rule-based decisions, which allows complete remote operation of the lidar. This was necessary in particular during the COVID-19-pandemic, as it was impossible to access the lidar from outside Norway for almost 1.5 years. We show examples that illustrate the performance of the RMR lidar in investigating aerosol layers, temperature as well as horizontal winds, partly with a time resolution below one second.

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Jens Fiedler and Gerd Baumgarten

Status: open (until 03 Jun 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2024-31', Robert Sica, 13 May 2024 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2024-31', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 May 2024 reply
  • RC3: 'Comment on amt-2024-31', Anonymous Referee #1, 21 May 2024 reply
Jens Fiedler and Gerd Baumgarten
Jens Fiedler and Gerd Baumgarten


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Short summary
This article describes the current status of a lidar installed in the ALOMAR observatory in Northern Norway. It investigates the Arctic middle atmosphere on a climatological basis since 30 years. We discuss major upgrades of the system implemented during recent years, including methods for reliable remote operation of this complex lidar. We also show examples that illustrate the performance of the lidar during measurements at different altitude ranges and time scales.