mpl: Micropulse Lidar

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

Related Publications


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, , 10.1029/2018JD029015. ONLINE.

Scott R, J Nicolas, D Bromwich, J Norris, and D Lubin. 2018. "Meteorological Drivers and Large-Scale Climate Forcing of West Antarctic Surface Melt." Journal of Climate, , 10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0233.1. ONLINE.

Chen X, X Huang, X Dong, B Xi, E Dolinar, N Loeb, S Kato, P Stackhouse, and M Bosilovich. 2018. "Using AIRS and ARM SGP Clear-Sky Observations to Evaluate Meteorological Reanalyses: A Hyperspectral Radiance Closure Approach." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, , 10.1029/2018JD028850. ONLINE.

Stith J, D Baumgardner, J Haggerty, R Hardesty, W Lee, D Lenschow, P Pilewskie, P Smith, M Steiner, and H Vömel. 2018. "100 Years of Progress in Atmospheric Observing Systems." Meteorological Monographs, , 10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-18-0006.1. ONLINE.

Qiu S, B Xi, and X Dong. 2018. "Influence of Wind Direction on Thermodynamic Properties and Arctic Mixed-Phase Clouds in Autumn at Utqiaġvik, Alaska." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123(17), 10.1029/2018JD028631.

Wilson A, R Scott, M Cadeddu, V Ghate, and D Lubin. 2018. "Cloud Optical Properties Over West Antarctica From Shortwave Spectroradiometer Measurements During AWARE." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123(17), 10.1029/2018JD028347.

Chakraborty S, K Schiro, R Fu, and J Neelin. 2018. "On the role of aerosols, humidity, and vertical wind shear in the transition of shallow-to-deep convection at the Green Ocean Amazon 2014/5 site." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(15), 10.5194/acp-18-11135-2018.

Varble A, S Nesbit, P Salio, E Zipser, S van den Heever, G McFarquhar, P Kollias, S Kreidenweis, P DeMott, M Jensen, R Houze, Jr., K Rasmussen, R Leung, D Romps, D Gochis, E Avila, and C Williams. 2018. Cloud, Aerosol, and Complex Terrain Interactions (CACTI) Science Plan. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-17-004.

McHardy T, X Dong, B Xi, M Thieman, P Minnis, and R Palikonda. 2018. "Comparison of Daytime Low-Level Cloud Properties Derived From GOES and ARM SGP Measurements." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123(15), 10.1029/2018JD028911.

Won H and M Ahn. 2018. "Effects of Dynamic Range and Sampling Rate of an Infrared Thermometer to the Accuracy of the Cloud Detection." Remote Sensing, 10(7), 10.3390/rs10071049.

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