Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment

Project Description
The Lidar-In-Space Technology Experiment(LITE) is being developed by
Nasa Langley Research Center for a series of flights on the
space shuttle. Using a laser,a telescope approximately 1 meter
in diameter and a modular design, the system will be used to
study clouds, trophospheric and stratospheric aerosols,
characteristics of the planetary boundary layer, stratospheric
density and temperature pertubations, and to some degree,
surface topography. The greatly improved resolution of LITE
with respect to passive sensors is expected to provide a new
and unique data set on the global distribution and optical
properties of clouds and aerosols , and therefore, their
radiative and chemical effects. In addition, this data set will
be useful in validating and improving retrieval algorithms
already in use. Similarly, the ability to accurately locate the
top of the planetary boundary layer will aid in global climate
model(GCM) parameterizations of flux transport between the
oceans and th! e atmosphere. Measurements of density
pertubations in the middle stratosphere will provide a greatly
improved glimpse of the global dynamics of this region compared
to that given by current spaceborne sensors. The primary goals
of LITE are to demonstrate the maturity of space-based lidar
technology, to provide some unique measurements, and to provide
a platform for the development of technology for future
space-based systems.

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