The passage of commercial and military aircraft through invisible fresh volcanic ash clouds has caused damage to many airplanes. On December 15, 1989 all four engines of a KLM Boeing 747 were temporarily extinguished in a flight over Alaska resulting in $DOL80 million for repair. Similar aircraft damage to control systems, FLIR/EO windows, wind screens, radomes, aircraft leading edges, and aircraft data systems were reported in Operation Desert Storm during combat flights through high-explosive and naturally occurring desert dusts. The Defense Nuclear Agency is currently developing a compact and rugged lidar under the Aircraft Sensors Program to detect and estimate the mass density of nuclear-explosion produced dust clouds, high-explosive produced dust clouds, and fresh volcanic dust clouds at horizontal distances of up to 40 km from an aircraft. Given this mass density information, the pilot has an option of avoiding or flying through the upcoming cloud.