Welcome to the PCL Website

12 May 2021: The PCL project is winding down as we ramp up MPLCAN, a network of micropulse lidars.

The University of Western Ontario's Purple Crow Lidar (http://pcl.physics.uwo.ca). The PCL is a laser radar (lidar) which operates from the Echo Base Observatory located at Western's Environmental Science Field Station at 10 mile and Wonderland Rd (map: http://goo.gl/maps/JcxeF).

The powerful laser emits pulses of light as bright as simultaneously turning on 4 million 75 W light bulbs! The laser light scatters off air molecules. The reflected light is collected by a large telescope formed by rotating liquid mercury at 10 RPM in a 2.65 m diameter container. The liquid mirror technology has been made practical by innovative work performed at Université Laval in Québec City. The measurements allow air density, pressure, temperature and water vapour to be determined. These measurements will be used to address  questions concerning global warming and weather forecasting.

The PCL research project is headed by Professor Robert J. Sica of the Physics Department at the University of Western Ontario (https://www.physics.uwo.ca).

Unfortunately for safety reasons, it is not possible to visit the facility when we are operating. We occasionally have opportunities for the public to visit. To find out about these check this web page, follow us on twitter (@purplecrowlidar) or visit us on Facebook. If you have any further questions you can email us at infoATpurplecrowlidarDOTca.

This work is primarily supported by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Student opportunities (primarily graduate, sometimes undergraduate) are available, please contact us.

Last updated 6 August, 2021