Head of the department: Dr. Gerhard Ehret

The department LIDAR develops ground-based, airborne and space-borne lidar systems and applies them for active remote sensing of key meteorological parameters and atmospheric trace gases to facilitate research in weather and climate.

The department focuses on the three future European Lidar space missions ADM-Aeolus, EarthCARE and MERLIN. The department provides the Co-Principle Investigator for MERLIN, and supports ESA’s Lidar missions in the orbit through airborne demonstrator experiments, algorithm developments, feasibility studies, and validation after launch.

The European lidar missions Aeolus (left), EarthCARE (middle) and MERLIN (right).

Research areas are:

  • measurement of wind and turbulence with Doppler Wind Lidar (DWL) methods,
  • measurement of water vapour and ozone with Differential-Absorption Lidar (DIAL) techniques,
  • measurement of carbon dioxide and methane columns by Integrated Path Differential-Absorption Lidar (IPDA),
  • characterization of optical properties of aerosols and clouds through High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) techniques,
  • measurement of wind, temperature and gravity waves in the middle atmosphere with lidar.

Major instruments developed and operated are:

  • The ALADIN Airborne Demonstrator (A2D), a UV Doppler Wind Lidar at 354 nm wavelength for wind profile measurements,
  • the WALES Airborne Demonstrator, a multi-wavelength H2O-DIAL at 935 nm wavelength with a HSRL system for aerosol characterization and another channel for ozone profiling,
  • CHARM-F, an airborne IPDA Lidar system for the measurement of carbon dioxide and methane columns,
  • ALIMA, an airborne combined resonance and Rayleigh Lidar for measurements of air and iron density, temperature and wind from the flight altitude up to the lower thermosphere (about 100 km),
  • TELMA and CORAL, ground-based sodium resonance and Rayleigh lidars for measurements of temperature and gravity waves between altitudes of 25 and 100 km,
  • ground-based and airborne coherent DWL systems at 2 µm and 1.6 µm for the 3D- wind field, water vapour fluxes, and atmospheric wake vortex studies.

Dr.rer.nat. Gerhard Ehret
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Atmospheric Physics
, Lidar
Tel: +49 8153 28-2509

Fax: +49 8153 28-1841

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Measurement of wind (
Water Vapor measurement in the atmosphere (
Remote Sensing of Stratospheric Ozone with the Airborne OLEX Lidar (
Projects (
Interaction of particles with clouds (
Sources and sinks of tracegases (
Forward looking Doppler lidar for detection of aircraft wake vortices (