Optical measuring method used to assess the atmosphere with the aid of laser-based range finding.
LIDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging and is based on a similar principle to radar. But whereas radio waves are emitted and reflected in radar, LIDAR uses laser beams; it is an optical system. It is also used to remotely measure atmospheric parameters concerning e.g. aerosols. To do so, laser pulses are emitted, and the light reflected back by the atmosphere is detected. The distance to the reflection site can be calculated by measuring the time it takes for the reflected light to return to the receiver.