mlo ndacc

JPL Lidar at Mauna Loa (a.k.a. MLSOL)


This ozone Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) was the second instrument built by the JPL atmospheric lidar group. Routine data acquisition started in July 1993 and the instrument has since measured over 2500 stratospheric ozone, aerosol, and atmospheric temperature profiles. It underwent a major upgrade in 2001.

The system combines Rayleigh/Mie and nitrogen vibrational Raman scattering techniques, and includes 8 receiving channels (3 channels operating at the ozone-absorbed wavelengths of 308 nm and 332 nm, and 5 channels at the non-absorbed wavelengths of 355 nm and 387 nm). The combination of its channels allows ozone retrieval between the altitudes of 12 km and 50 km, temperature retrieval between 12 km and 95 km, and aerosol backscatter ratio between 12 km and 50 km.

Instrument/dataset characteristics:

  • Instrument vertical resolution: 300-m until 2019, 15-m since 2019
  • Nominal vertical range: ozone: 12-50 km; Temperature: 12-90 km; Aerosols: 12-50 km
  • Instrument temporal resolution: Anything from 5-min to 2-hours, depending on the application
  • Typical measurement frequency: 3-5 times per week, nighttime only
  • Occasional "all-night" measurements for case studies and campaigns
  • Typical total number of measurements per year: 200.


McDermid, I. S., T. D. Walsh, A. Deslis, and M. L. White, "Optical systems design for a stratospheric lidar system," Appl. Opt. 34, 6201- (1995)

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