Coupling Ocean Models and Satellite Derived Optical Fields To Estimate LIDAR Penetration and Detection Performance

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Ocean Science and Engineering


A global-scale climatological assessment of the temporal and spatial relationships between physical and optical ocean layers was previously performed to determine LIDAR efficiency for measuring the 3D Ocean. That effort provided estimates of laser sensor penetration depth (PD) in the global oceans and identified critical coupling between Mixed Layer Depth (MLD) and Optical Depth (OD) based on potential laser power and ensuing attenuation. We make use of a Bio-Physical ocean model configured for the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) along with remotely sensed satellite measurements to examine LIDAR performance in the Gulf of Mexico coastal regions. The 4Km GOM ocean model runs in near-realtime and produces physical and bio-optical fields which are coupled to in-house derived satellite bio-optical products such as the Diffuse Attenuation Coefficient at 490 nm (Kd490). PD and MLD are coupled to determine laser power efficiency rates across multiple attenuation lengths. The results illustrate the potential utilization of space-borne oceanographic LIDAR to penetrate through the water column, elucidating its applicability for a variety of scientific (characterization of the ocean subsurface layers) and applied (target detection) objectives. © 2012 SPIE.

Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering