The power of lidar to measure vertical profiles of stratospheric clouds and aerosols with fine vertical resolution (< 1 km) and a narrow field of view (approximately 1.5 milliradians) has been demonstrated through a long history of ground-based and aircraft experiments l. Additionally, lidar techniques have been used to study volcanic eruptions, to measure parameters such as cloud top heights, height of planetary boundary layer, and the distribution of cirrus and sub-cirrus clouds2. Additionally, performance criteria of a lidar instrument in space to measure atmospheric parameters have been defined through extensive development of mathematical simulations.3,4 The purpose of this experiment will be to provide experimental data of atmospheric backscatter at three wavelengths (1.06, .532, and .355 microns) for validation and verification of key parameters in the mathematical simulations of future space-based lidar experiments. Additionally, the performance of the lidar electro-optical system and mechanical, thermal, and structural configurations will be evaluated. In this paper, plans to conduct a technology experiment with a Shuttle-based lidar instrument will be presented. Design of the LITE instrument will also be given, and will include performance goals for the laser transmitter, telescope, optical receiver and associated electronics. Experimental results from space flight of the LITE instrument will be used to define performance criteria and designs for future atmospheric sounding experiments planned for the Space Station, Earth Observing System (EOS) platform and for more complex scientific lidar experiments.