Contact: Dr. Abebe Kebede
336-285 2113 or email


Raymond M. Hoff
Professor of Physics
Director, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET)
Director, Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center (GEST)
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
5523 Research Park Drive, Suite 320
Baltimore MD 21228
p: 410-455-1610 f:410-455-1291
GSFC Phone 301-286-8951 (Tuesdays)

  November 10, 2008

Marteena Hall, Room 310  Time- 4:00 PM

Title: Smoke and Mirrors:  Using Lidar from the Ground and Space to Measure Air Pollution


Laser radar (lidar) is an active remote sensing technique which can be used to remotely probe gases and aerosols in the atmosphere.   Lower tropospheric aerosols are a risk for human health and recent changes in the regulations for the concentrations of particulate matter under 2.5 microns in size has made the prediction and monitoring of such particles very important.  While EPA measures such particles at over 1800 sites in the US, there are many parts of the US that remain unobserved.  Lidar is now being used from ground based sites and from the orbiting CALIPSO satellite to make measurements of particulate matter.  This talk will review the physics in the measurement of particles with light and discuss measurements which have been made recently.  We will show that not only is lidar needed to identify the occurrence of high levels of PM, but quantitatively, we can now use satellite measurements as a surrogate for ground based monitoring.