hsrl: High Spectral Resolution Lidar

High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) systems collect data about clouds and aerosols.

These systems provide vertical profiles of optical depth, backscatter cross-section, depolarization, and backscatter phase function. All HSRL measurements are absolutely calibrated by reference to molecular scattering, which is measured at each point in the lidar profile.

Like the Raman lidar, but unlike simple backscatter lidars such as the micropulse lidar, the HSRL can measure backscatter cross-sections and optical depths without prior assumptions about the scattering properties of the atmosphere. The depolarization observations also allow robust discrimination between ice and water clouds. In addition, rigorous error estimates can be computed for all measurements. A very narrow, angular field of view reduces multiple scattering contributions. The small field of view, coupled with a narrow optical bandwidth, nearly eliminates noise due to scattered sunlight.

The ARM facility operates two HSRL systems, one at the Barrow North Slope of Alaska (NSA) site and the other in the second ARM Mobile Facility (AMF2), which is deployed at various locations on field campaigns.



  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Related Publications


Kalesse H, G DeBoer, A Solomon, M Oue, M Ahlgrimm, D Zhang, M Shupe, E Luke, and A Protat. 2016. "Understanding Rapid Changes in Phase Partitioning between Cloud Liquid and Ice in Stratiform Mixed-Phase Clouds: An Arctic Case Study." Monthly Weather Review, 144(12), 10.1175/mwr-d-16-0155.1. ONLINE.

Petäjä T, EJ O'Connor, D Moisseev, VA Sinclair, AJ Manninen, R Väänänen, A von Lerber, JA Thornton, W Petersen, V Chandrasekar, JN Smith, PM Winkler, O Krüger, H Hakola, H Timonen, D Brus, T Laurila, E Asmi, M Riekkola, L Mona, P Massoli, R Engelmann, M Komppula, J Wang, C Kuang, J Bäck, V Annele, J Levula, M Ritsche, and N Hickmon. 2016. "BAECC: A Field Campaign to Elucidate the Impact of Biogenic Aerosols on Clouds and Climate." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97(10), 10.1175/bams-d-14-00199.1.

Goldsmith J. 2016. High Spectral Resolution Lidar Instrument Handbook. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-157.

Eloranta E. 2016. Combined High Spectral Resolution Lidar and Millimeter Wavelength Radar Measurement of Ice Crystal Precipitation. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, BER. DOE-UWMSN-0006933.

Wang Y, B Geerts, and Y Chen. 2016. "Vertical structure of boundary layer convection during cold-air outbreaks at Barrow, Alaska." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(1), 10.1002/2015jd023506.


Fielding MD, JC Chiu, RJ Robin, G Feingold, E Eloranta, EJ O'Connor, and MP Cadeddu. 2015. "Joint retrievals of cloud and drizzle in marine boundary layer clouds using ground-based radar, lidar and zenith radiances." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 8, 10.5194/amt-8-2663-2015.


Müller D, CA Hostetler, RA Ferrare, SP Burton, E Chemyakin, A Kolgotin, JW Hair, JW Cook, DB Harper, RR Rogers, RW Hare, CS Cleckner, MD Obland, J Tomlinson, LK Berg, and B Schmid. 2014. "Airborne Multiwavelength High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL-2) observations during TCAP 2012: vertical profiles of optical and microphysical properties of a smoke/urban haze plume over the northeastern coast of the US." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 7(10), 10.5194/amt-7-3487-2014.

Yu G, J Verlinde, EE Clothiaux, and Y Chen. 2014. "Mixed-phase cloud phase partitioning using millimeter wavelength cloud radar Doppler velocity spectra." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 119(12), 10.1002/2013jd021182.


Mather JH and JW Voyles. 2013. "The Arm Climate Research Facility: A Review of Structure and Capabilities." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 94(3), 10.1175/bams-d-11-00218.1.

Hostetler C, R Ferrare, J Hair, AT Cook, D Harper, R Rogers, D Mueller, S Burton, M Obland, A Scarino, B Schmid, J Fast, L Berg, C Flynn, B Cairns, P Russell, J Redemann, and Y Shinozuka. 2013. Airborne Multi-wavelength High Spectral Resolution Lidar Observations and Applications from TCAP. Presented at 4th Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Science Team Meeting. Potomac, MD.

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