The Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE) is being developed by NASA/Langley Research Center for a series of flights on the space shuttle beginning in 1994. Employing a three-wavelength Nd:YAG laser and a 1-m-diameter telescope, the system is a test-bed for the development of technology required for future operational spaceborne lidars. The system has been designed to observe clouds, tropospheric and stratospheric aerosols, characteristics of the planetary boundary layer, and stratospheric density and temperature perturbations with much greater resolution than is available from current orbiting sensors. In addition to providing unique datasets on these phenomena, the data obtained will be useful in improving retrieval algorithms currently in use. Observations of clouds and the planetary boundary layer will aid in the development of global climate model (GCM) parameterizations. This article briefly describes the LITE program and discusses the types of scientific investigations planned for the first flight.

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Footnotes

1NASA/Langley Research Center, Atmospheric Sciences Division, Hampton, Virginia

2Oregon State University, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Corvallis, Oregon

3University of Illinois, Department of Electrical Engineering, Urbana, Illinois

4Atmospheric Environmental Services, Center for Atmospheric Research Experiments, Egbert, Ontario, Canada

5Science and Technology Corporation, Hampton, Virginia

6NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

7Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

8CSIRO, Division of Atmospheric Physics, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia

9Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Fort Collins, Colorado

10University of Arizona, Department of Electrical Engineering, Tucson, Arizona