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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 356265, 36 pages
Review Article

Lidar Measurements for Desert Dust Characterization: An Overview

1Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale (CNR-IMAA), C.da S. Loja, Potenza 85050 Tito Scalo, Italy
2Science Systems and ApplicationS Inc., c/o NASA Langley Research Center MS 475, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
3Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (IfT), Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
4Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 1 Cheomdan-Gwagiro, Buk-Gu, Gwangju 500-712, Republic of Korea
5NASA Langley Research Center, MS 475, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
6Laser Remote Sensing laboratory, Physics Department, National Technical University of Athens, 15780 Athens, Greece
7National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan

Received 15 February 2012; Revised 31 May 2012; Accepted 30 July 2012

Academic Editor: Aristides Bartzokas

Copyright © 2012 L. Mona et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We provide an overview of light detection and ranging (lidar) capability for describing and characterizing desert dust. This paper summarizes lidar techniques, observations, and fallouts of desert dust lidar measurements. The main objective is to provide the scientific community, including nonpractitioners of lidar observations with a reference paper on dust lidar measurements. In particular, it will fill the current gap of communication between research-oriented lidar community and potential desert dust data users, such as air quality monitoring agencies and aviation advisory centers. The current capability of the different lidar techniques for the characterization of aerosol in general and desert dust in particular is presented. Technical aspects and required assumptions of these techniques are discussed, providing readers with the pros and cons of each technique. Information about desert dust collected up to date using lidar techniques is reviewed. Lidar techniques for aerosol characterization have a maturity level appropriate for addressing air quality and transportation issues, as demonstrated by some first results reported in this paper.