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For Release: July 1, 1998

Catherine E. Watson
Langley Research Center
(757) 864-6122

Cynthia O'Carroll
Goddard Space Flight Center
(301) 286-6943

RELEASE NO. 98-032


Laser Scientists Gather to Discuss New Remote Sensing Techniques

More than 350 scientists and engineers from across the world will meet next week to review the latest developments in the art and science of laser remote sensing. The 19th International Laser Radar Conference will be held July 6-10 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Attendees will review progress towards understanding current issues such as global warming, ozone depletion, severe weather formation, and atmospheric pollution.

The lidar (LIght Detection and Ranging) technique, which is similar to radar but uses laser light, has had an explosive growth during the last two decades. Lidar system operations are routinely conducted from the ground, air, and ships. A space-borne lidar system was also successfully demonstrated with the flight of the Lidar In-space Technology Experiment aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1994.

The conference is held biennially to discuss a broad spectrum of lidar technologies and their applications. These applications include the measurement of winds, water vapor, ozone, small particles, and clouds in the atmosphere. In addition, lidars are being used to study the Earth's topography and polar ice sheets.

New lidar techniques and technologies, recent lidar observations, and their applications will be featured during the conference. The highlight of the conference will be a review of past, present and future space lidar missions including the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter instrument aboard the Mars Global Surveyor and the Space Readiness Coherent Lidar Experiment for the measurement of winds from space.

The conference is hosted jointly by NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and the U.S. Naval Academy. The conference is co-sponsored by a number of national agencies and scientific organizations including, NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Naval Research Laboratory, the Optical Society of America, the American Meteorological Society, the University of Maryland-Baltimore and Hampton University. The lidar conference is held under the auspices of the International Committee on Laser Atmospheric Studies of the International Radiation Commission and the Committee on Laser Atmospheric Studies.

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