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.

ARM 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


Dawson K, R Ferrare, R Moore, M Clayton, T Thorsen, and E Eloranta. 2020. "Ambient Aerosol Hygroscopic Growth From Combined Raman Lidar and HSRL." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 125(7), e2019JD031708, 10.1029/2019JD031708.

Sokolowsky G, E Clothiaux, C Baggett, S Lee, S Feldstein, E Eloranta, M Cadeddu, N Bharadwaj, and K Johnson. 2020. "Contributions to the Surface Downwelling Longwave Irradiance during Arctic Winter at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) Alaska." Journal of Climate, 33(11), 10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0876.1.

Lubin D, D Zhang, I Silber, R Scott, P Kalogeras, A Battaglia, D Bromwich, M Cadeddu, E Eloranta, A Fridlind, A Frossard, K Hines, S Kneifel, W Leaitch, W Lin, J Nicolas, H Powers, P Quinn, P Rowe, L Russell, S Sharma, J Verlinde, and A Vogelmann. 2020. "AWARE: The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) West Antarctic Radiation Experiment." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 101(7), 10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0278.1.


Stillwell R, S Spuler, M Hayman, K Repasky, and C Bunn. 2019. "Demonstration of a combined differential absorption and high spectral resolution lidar for profiling atmospheric temperature." Optics Express, 28(1), 10.1364/OE.379804.

Mohrmann J, C Bretherton, I Mccoy, J McGibbon, R Wood, V Ghate, B Albrecht, M Sarkar, P Zuidema, and R Palikonda. 2019. "Lagrangian Evolution of the Northeast Pacific Marine Boundary Layer Structure and Cloud during CSET." Monthly Weather Review, 147(12), 10.1175/MWR-D-19-0053.1.

Lai H, F Zhang, E Clothiaux, D Stauffer, B Gaudet, J Verlinde, and D Chen. 2019. "Modeling Arctic Boundary Layer Cloud Streets at Grey-zone Resolutions." Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 37(1), 10.1007/s00376-019-9105-y.

Zhang D, A Vogelmann, P Kollias, E Luke, F Yang, D Lubin, and Z Wang. 2019. "Comparison of Antarctic and Arctic Single‐Layer Stratiform Mixed‐Phase Cloud Properties Using Ground‐Based Remote Sensing Measurements." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124(17-18), 10.1029/2019JD030673.
Research Highlight

Silber I, A Fridlind, J Verlinde, A Ackerman, Y Chen, D Bromwich, S Wang, M Cadeddu, and E Eloranta. 2019. "Persistent Supercooled Drizzle at Temperatures below ‐25°C Observed at McMurdo Station, Antarctica." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124(20), 10.1029/2019JD030882.
Research Highlight

Silber I, J Verlinde, S Wang, D Bromwich, A Fridlind, M Cadeddu, E Eloranta, and C Flynn. 2019. "Cloud Influence on ERA5 and AMPS Surface Downwelling Longwave Radiation Biases in West Antarctica." Journal of Climate, 32(22), 10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0149.1.

Kalesse H, T Vogl, C Paduraru, and E Luke. 2019. "Development and validation of a supervised machine learning radar Doppler spectra peak-finding algorithm." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 12(8), 10.5194/amt-12-4591-2019.

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