For high-precision measurements of the CO2
column concentration in the atmosphere with airborne integrated path differential absorption (IPDA) Lidar, the exact distance of the Lidar beam to the scattering surface, that is, the length of the column, must be measured accurately. For the high-precision inversion of the column length, we propose a set of methods on the basis of the actual conditions, including autocorrelation detection, adaptive filtering, Gaussian decomposition, and optimized Levenberg–Marquardt fitting based on the generalized Gaussian distribution. Then, based on the information of a pair of laser pulses, we use the direct adjustment method of unequal precision to eliminate the error in the distance measurement. Further, the effect of atmospheric delay on distance measurements is considered, leading to further correction of the inversion results. At last, an airborne experiment was carried out in a sea area near Qinhuangdao, China on 14 March 2019. The results showed that the ranging accuracy can reach 0.9066 m, which achieved an excellent ranging accuracy on 1.57-μm IPDA Lidar and met the requirement for high-precision CO2
column length inversion.
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