National Central University of Taiwan Owned and Operated Micro Pulse Lidar stations play a key role in determining pollutant sources for the local EPA

Lo Chi and William Hetherington at the Taipei Times recently posted a feature piece about the National Central University of Taiwan (NCU) Micro Pulse Lidar NETwork (MPLNET) stations that have been collecting data continuously and contributing these observations to MPLNET since 2002. The contribution of the NCU team is hugely significant to both the local Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) Department of Environmental Monitoring and Information Management and NASA. Of the 26 active MPLNET stations in operation today four of them reside in in Taiwan. Coupled with observations from over 50 shorter measurement campaigns, the MPLNET offers an important global database of near continuous cloud and aerosol data, from the ground, up to 30km. All captured with the Micro Pulse Lidar (MPL) and Mini Micro Pulse Lidar (MiniMPL) systems, manufactured exclusively by Droplet Measurement Technologies, LLC.

In Taiwan, the MPL remote sensing data is part of the overall EPA monitoring strategy that comprises a nationwide network of fixed and mobile stations using a variety of ground-level techniques. While the terrestrial point measurement solutions can characterize aerosol pollutants where they are located, MPL and MiniMPL provide vertical distribution data which is critical to determining the direction particulates might fall and how they will disperse. This is where the MPL contribution is vital to the mission and why lidar profiles have helped the agency overcome the longstanding and thorny challenge of determining pollutant sources.

Changing winds and topography contribute to local air pollution issues. Mountains surround Taipei and several other manufacturing centers, leading to inefficient dispersal of emissions [1]. While northeasterly winds can push in additional pollution from China that settle over southern Taiwan. It is a complex picture, and one that could not be understood without the use of Micro Pulse Lidar.

To read the article in the Taipei Times visit: , for more information on the MPLNET please go to



[1] Giese-Bogdan, Stefanie. From Michigan to Taiwan: Air Pollution Technology. Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library, 1995.