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NRL Group

NRL is investigating the penetration and propagation of light  in water; a phenomenon dependent on the amount of colored dissolved organic matter and suspended particulate matter, including sediments and phytoplankton, present in the water column.  Our main objective during SABOR is to demonstrate the capability of our newly developed ship polarimetric lidar system to detect particulate layers from the ocean surface to approximately 20 m depth.  The lidar is mounted on the bow of the ship, sends pulses of green light into the water column and then measures the returned backscattered signal.  The magnitude of the return signal is dependent on multiple factors including the size, shape, and concentration of the particulates, parameters that will be measured simultaneously by other instruments.  Like airborne and space lidars, we are able to produce vertical cross sections of particulate layers in the upper ocean with the ultimate goal of better understanding the nature of these layers and how they respond to different physical processes.