Many coherent lidars are used today with aerosol targets for detailed studies of e.g., local wind speed and turbulence. Fibre-optic lidars operating near 1.5 μm dominate the wind energy market, with hundreds now installed worldwide. Here, we review some of the beam/target physics for these lidars and discuss practical problems. In a monostatic Doppler lidar with matched local oscillator and transmit beams, focusing of the beam gives rise to a spatial sensitivity along the beam direction that depends on the inverse of beam area; for Gaussian beams, this sensitivity follows a Lorentzian function. At short range, the associated probe volume can be extremely small and contain very few scatterers; we describe predictions and simulations for few-scatterer and multi-scatterer sensing. We review the single-particle mode (SPM) and volume mode (VM) modelling of Frehlich et al. and some numerical modelling of lidar detector time series and statistics. Interesting behaviour may be observed from a modern coherent lidar used at short ranges (e.g., in a wind tunnel) and/or with weak aerosol seeding. We also review some problems (and solutions) for Doppler-sign-insensitive lidars.
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