Space Readiness Coherent Lidar Experiment (SPARCLE)

4E2B6DA6-D358-B284-2627A60F5888495DShown are nickel plated, diamond turned mirrors some 12″ in diameter for the NASA funded project SPARCLE.

A NASA funded project under the Global Aerosol Climatology Program (GACP), conducted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Space Readiness Coherent Lidar Experiment’s (SPARCLE) original long-term goal was to “develop semi-empirical models for aerosol back scatter statistics, selected laser wavelengths in the middle and upper troposphere…and inputs to Doppler Lidar design studies for remote measurements and global wind field from low earth orbit (Bowdle 2).” Their main objective was to “develop a climatology for elevated aerosol layers that originate in the planetary boundary layer (PBL).

Unfortunately, the program needed to be restructured and as a result, the SPARCLE mission was canceled. In a report, it is explained that “runout SPARCLE activities have not involved the expected atmospheric aerosol back scatter measurements with a highly sensitive ground-based Doppler Lidar (Bowdle 3).” The mission was in development from 1999-2000.

GACP Progress Report