The Active Sensing of CO2 Emissions over Nights, Days, and Seasons (ASCENDS) CarbonHawk Experiment Simulator (ACES) is a NASA Langley Research Center instrument funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate that seeks to advance technologies critical to measuring atmospheric column carbon dioxide (CO2) mixing ratios in support of the NASA ASCENDS mission. The ACES instrument, an Intensity-Modulated Continuous-Wave (IM-CW) lidar, was designed for high-altitude aircraft operations and can be directly applied to space instrumentation to meet the ASCENDS mission requirements. Airborne flight campaigns have been used to demonstrate ACES’ advanced technologies critical for a spaceborne instrument with lower platform consumption of size, mass, and power, and with improved performance. ACES recently flew on the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the 2017 NASA ASCENDS/Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) airborne measurement campaign to test ASCENDS-related technologies in the challenging Arctic environment. Data were collected over a wide variety of surface reflectivities, terrain, and atmospheric conditions during the campaign’s eight research flights. ACES also flew during the 2017 and 2018 Atmospheric Carbon and Transport – America (ACT-America) Earth Venture Suborbital - 2 (EVS-2) campaigns along with the primary ACT-America CO2 lidar, Harris Corporation’s Multi-Frequency Fiber Laser Lidar (MFLL). Regional CO2 distributions of the lower atmosphere were observed from the C-130 aircraft during the ACT-America campaigns in support of ACT-America’s science objectives. The airborne lidars provide unique remote data that complement data from more traditional in situ sensors. This presentation shows the applications of CO2 lidars in meeting these science needs from airborne platforms and an eventual spacecraft.