Center LIDAR Network (NY,VA,MD,PR) studies the vertical profiling along the Atlantic Coast transect from NYC to Caribbean with applications to aerosol transport and air quality. It has been cooperated in founding the International GAW Aerosol LIDAR Observation Network. Lidar is an acronym for LIght Detection And Ranging, a technique similar in principle to Sonar and Radar to determine ranging, or the measurement of distance by time domain reflections. Lidar uses a (often pulsed) beam source while measuring the time and intensity of reflected energy. When there is no 'solid' target, there is still a small portion of the beam that is reflected by atmospheric constituents along the line of sight (backscatter.) This measurement technique can infer several characteristics of the target or also of the intervening atmosphere.
The processed return signal or echo can be used to develop 2 and 3 dimensional plots, and has numerous applied uses:
Learn more about the CESSRST LIDAR Network, click here