An oceanographic Raman lidar has been shown to be an effective tool for immediate (early) applications in Navy and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs. Remote sensing of the depth of the ocean mixed layer will be of significant importance both in acoustic propagation prediction and in long range weather and climate forecasting. The characteristics that are required in a dual polarization Raman lidar for this measurement are discussed. The feasibility of the concept has been tested in field experiments which have measured gradients to an accuracy of 0.5°C. The parameters of an airborne measurement system concept are described.