A model dust distribution over the lunar terminator region, based on instrument measurements and observations by Apollo astronauts, is used to assess the feasibility of detecting and mapping the dust distribution with a lunar-based lidar instrument. We assume a refractive index appropriate to volcanic dust, and use Mie scattering formalism along with the model dust distribution to determine the expected lidar backscatter coefficient as a function of range cell location. Requirements for peak transmitter power, pulse length, and pulse repetition rate are examined. This analysis is carried out both for a lunar surface instrument package and for a lunar orbiting instrument. Orbital instrument requirements are analyzed for orbital altitudes of 60, 80, and 100 km above the lunar surface. Expected signal-to-noise ratios and additional performance parameters are presented for these candidate lidar systems. Size and power requirements for the instruments are also discussed.