mpl > Micropulse LidarInstrument Type(s) > Baseline • Evaluation • External • Guest

The micropulse lidar (MPL) is a ground-based, optical, remote-sensing system designed primarily to determine the altitude of clouds; however, it is also used for detection of atmospheric aerosols. The physical principle is the same as for radar. Pulses of energy are transmitted into the atmosphere; the energy scattered back to the transceiver is collected and measured as a time-resolved signal, thereby detecting clouds and aerosols in real time.

From the time delay between each outgoing pulse and the backscattered signal, the distance to the scatterer is inferred. Post-processing of the lidar return characterizes the extent and properties of aerosols or other particles in a region.


  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3


Helbig M, T Gerken, E Beamesderfer, D Baldocchi, T Banerjee, S Biraud, W Brown, N Brunsell, E Burakowski, S Burns, B Butterworth, W Chan, K Davis, A Desai, J Fuentes, D Hollinger, N Kljun, M Mauder, K Novick, J Perkins, D Rahn, C Rey-Sanchez, J Santanello, R Scott, B Seyednasrollah, P Stoy, R Sullivan, J de Arellano, S Wharton, C Yi, and A Richardson. 2021. "Integrating continuous atmospheric boundary layer and tower-based flux measurements to advance understanding of land-atmosphere interactions." Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 307, 108509, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2021.108509.

Villefranque N and R Hogan. 2021. "Evidence for the 3D radiative effects of boundary‐layer clouds from observations of direct and diffuse surface solar fluxes." Geophysical Research Letters, , e2021GL093369, 10.1029/2021GL093369. ONLINE.

Russell LM, D Lubin, I Silber, E Eloranta, J Muelmenstaedt, S Burrows, A Aiken, D Wang, M Petters, M Miller, A Ackerman, A Fridlind, M Witte, M Lebsock, D Painemal, R Chang, J Liggio, and M Wheeler. 2021. Eastern Pacific Cloud Aerosol Precipitation Experiment (EPCAPE) Science Plan. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-21-009.

Shupe M, D Chu, D Costa, C Cox, J Creamean, G de Boer, K Dethloff, R Engelmann, M Gallagher, E Hunke, W Maslowski, A McComiskey, J Osborn, O Persson, H Powers, K Pratt, D Randall, A Solomon, M Tjernstrom, D Turner, J Uin, T Uttal, J Verlinde, and D Wagner. 2021. Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) Field Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-21-007.

Biscaro T, L Machado, S Giangrande, and M Jensen. 2021. "What drives daily precipitation over the central Amazon? Differences observed between wet and dry seasons." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21(9), 10.5194/acp-21-6735-2021.
Research Highlight

Kirshbaum D and K Lamer. 2021. "Climatological sensitivities of shallow-cumulus bulk entrainment in continental and oceanic locations." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, , 10.1175/JAS-D-20-0377.1. ONLINE.

Fridlind A, C Chiu, S Collis, J Comstock, S Giangrande, N Hickmon, M Jensen, M Kumjian, P Muradyan, R Newsom, A Sockol, M Sturm, and A Theisen. 2021. ARM Cloud and Precipitation Measurements and Science Group (CPMSG) Workshop Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-21-005.

Zhao X, X Liu, V Phillips, and S Patade. 2021. "Impacts of secondary ice production on Arctic mixed-phase clouds based on ARM observations and CAM6 single-column model simulations." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21(7), 10.5194/acp-21-5685-2021.
Research Highlight

Feldman D, A Aiken, W Boos, R Carroll, V Chandrasekar, W Collins, S Collis, J Deems, P DeMott, J Fan, A Flores, D Gochis, J Harrington, M Kumjian, LR Leung, T O'Brien, M Raleigh, A Rhoades, SM Skiles, J Smith, R Sullivan, P Ullrich, A Varble, and K Williams. 2021. Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory (SAIL) Science Plan. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-21-004.

Zhang Z, Q Song, D Mechem, V Larson, J Wang, Y Liu, M Witte, X Dong, and P Wu. 2021. "Vertical dependence of horizontal variation of cloud microphysics: observations from the ACE-ENA field campaign and implications for warm-rain simulation in climate models." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21(4), 10.5194/acp-21-3103-2021.

View All Related Publications