Researchers are Advancing Science using Micro Pulse LiDAR Technology

There are so many examples of interesting research using Micro Pulse LiDAR (MPL) technology it is difficult to decide on my favorites; however, I have chosen to highlight the following two papers because these applications for the MPL and MiniMPL address problems that are very important to global health.

I’ve created a summary of each report and provided the citation in case you are interested in reading the full text describing the research.

Published in August 2018, an informative report about pollen as a serious urban health issue nicely illustrates the high potential of an MPL system to retrieve the relative optical and mass contributions of each aerosol component throughout the day. While working in a 24/7 operation mode, an MPL was used to collect data during several dust and pollen events that occurred in Barcelona, Spain. Researchers in Spain and Germany were then able to apply the POLIPHON (POlarization-LIdar PHOtometer Networking) method to the MPL measurements to reveal the daily variability of particle properties. This approach is simple enough to be implemented in other MPLs within MPLNET to easily compute aerosol discrimination on a global scale. Better insight into the transportation and distribution of pollen and dust can be used to improve the efficacy of early warning systems to alert the population to potential health hazards. For more information, go to:

Citation: Córdoba-Jabonero, Carmen, et al. “Separation of the optical and mass features of particle components in different aerosol mixtures by using POLIPHON retrievals in synergy with continuous polarized Micro-Pulse Lidar (P-MPL) measurements.” Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 11.8 (2018): 4775-4795.

The long-term impact to living organisms of changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) is the subject of much debate, so a better understanding of sources, sinks, and controlling processes of CO2 and other GHGs is desirable. To achieve this, more robust methods for estimating surface fluxes are needed. This paper describes the results of a two-year study conducted in Pasadena, Calif., that shows sustained MPL observations can be used to reduce flux inversion error by selecting suitable analysis periods, calibrating models, or characterizing bias for correction in post processing. The researchers compared their observations to planetary boundary layer (PBL) heights from sonde launches, North American regional reanalysis (NARR), and a custom Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model developed for GHG monitoring in Los Angeles. On the regional and urban scales, the extent and variability of vertical mixing is a dominant source of uncertainty in GHG modeling, so more accurate methods of measurement are sought. For more information, go to:

Citation: Ware, John. ” Aerosol lidar observations of atmospheric mixing in Los Angeles: Climatology and implications for greenhouse gas observations.” AGU Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. AGU, 2016.