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4 November 2004 Laser remote sensing: addressing key measurement challenges in the Earth sciences
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Although laser remote sensing techniques have been applied to a variety of environmental measurement tasks for several decades, it has not been until relatively recently that the promise held by lidar and laser radar has begun to be exploited for global measurements from an Earth-orbiting vantage point. Notwithstanding the successful demonstration of highresolution laser altimetry and cloud/aerosol profiling from orbital platforms in the last decade, full realization of the potential for these techniques to address important Earth science questions awaits the availability of next generation instruments incorporating durable, high-performance laser transmitters and advanced receiver technologies. Some of the most critical, high-impact Earth science measurement applications are enabled by lidar techniques - in some cases uniquely so. This paper describes some of these scenarios and also the philosophy underlying the investment that the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is making in order to pro-actively accelerate technology development in certain key areas that will contribute to our future ability to field advanced laser remote sensing instrumentation in space.
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David M. Tratt "Laser remote sensing: addressing key measurement challenges in the Earth sciences", Proc. SPIE 5575, Laser Radar Techniques for Atmospheric Sensing, (4 November 2004);

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