ldis: Laser Disdrometer

A laser disdrometer (LDIS) measures the drop size spectra and fall velocity of hydrometeors during precipitation events. The passage of hydrometeors through a horizontal area positioned between an eye-safe laser and an array detector results in blockage of the laser beam in proportion to the size of the drop or particle. In addition to drop/particle size and fall speed, precipitation type is classified.

ARM also deploys video disdrometers (VDIS).



  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Related Publications


Lamer K, B Puigdomènech Treserras, Z ZHU, B Isom, N Bharadwaj, and P Kollias. 2019. "Characterization of Shallow Oceanic Precipitation using Profiling and Scanning Radar Observations at the Eastern North Atlantic ARM Observatory." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions, , 10.5194/amt-2019-160.

Ghate V, D Mechem, M Cadeddu, E Eloranta, M Jensen, M Nordeen, and W Smith. 2019. "Estimates of entrainment in closed cellular marine stratocumulus clouds from the MAGIC field campaign." Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 145(721), 10.1002/qj.3514.


Naud C, J Booth, and F Lamraoui. 2018. "Post Cold Frontal Clouds at the ARM Eastern North Atlantic Site: An Examination of the Relationship Between Large-Scale Environment and Low-Level Cloud Properties." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123(21), 10.1029/2018JD029015.
Research Highlight

Machado L, A Calheiros, T Biscaro, S Giangrande, M Silva Dias, M Cecchini, R Albrecht, M Andreae, W Araujo, P Artaxo, S Borrmann, R Braga, C Burleyson, C Eichholz, J Fan, Z Feng, G Fisch, M Jensen, S Martin, U Pöschl, C Pöhlker, M Pöhlker, J Ribaud, D Rosenfeld, J Saraiva, C Schumacher, R Thalman, D Walter, and M Wendisch. 2018. "Overview: Precipitation characteristics and sensitivities to environmental conditions during GoAmazon2014/5 and ACRIDICON-CHUVA." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(9), 10.5194/acp-18-6461-2018.


Neiman P, N Gaggini, C Fairall, J Aikins, J Spackman, L Leung, J Fan, J Hardin, N Nalli, and A White. 2017. "An Analysis of Coordinated Observations from NOAA's Ronald Brown Ship and G-IV Aircraft in a Landfalling Atmospheric River over the North Pacific during CalWater-2015." Monthly Weather Review, 145(9), 10.1175/MWR-D-17-0055.1.


Tang S, S Xie, Y Zhang, M Zhang, C Schumacher, H Upton, M Jensen, K Johnson, M Wang, M Ahlgrimm, Z Feng, P Minnis, and M Thieman. 2016. "Large-scale vertical velocity, diabatic heating and drying profiles associated with seasonal and diurnal variations of convective systems observed in the GoAmazon2014/5 experiment." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16(22), 10.5194/acp-16-14249-2016.
Research Highlight


D’Adderio LP, F Porcù, and A Tokay. 2015. "Identification and Analysis of Collisional Breakup in Natural Rain." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 72(9), 10.1175/jas-d-14-0304.1.

Lewis E and J Teixeira. 2015. "Dispelling clouds of uncertainty." Eos, 96(12), 10.1029/2015EO031303.


Bartholomew MJ. 2014. ARM’s Handbook for the Parsivel2 Laser Disdrometer. U.S. DOE, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-137.


Iguchi T, T Matsui, A Tokay, P Kollias, and W Tao. 2012. "Two distinct modes in one-day rainfall event during MC3E field campaign: Analyses of disdrometer observations and WRF-SBM simulation." Geophysical Research Letters, 39(24), L24805, 10.1029/2012gl053329.

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