Laser Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere

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Science  02 Jan 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4784, pp. 37-45
DOI: 10.1126/science.235.4784.37


Laser beams can be used as long-range spectroscopic probes of the chemical composition and physical state of the atmosphere. The spectroscopic, optical, and laser requirements for atmospheric laser remote sensing are reviewed, and the sensitivity and limitations of the technique are described. A sampling of recent measurements includes the detection of urban air pollution and toxic chemicals in the atmosphere, the measurement of global circulation of volcanic ash in the upper atmosphere, and the observation of wind shear near airports.