Atmospheric Remote Sensing

link to Article
Research Highlight Air Quality: Ground-level ozone regularly exceeds health-based standards in Clark County, Nevada. The Fires, Asian, and Stratospheric Transport - Las Vegas Ozone Study (FAST-LVOS) seeks to understand the major sources and transport of surface ozone pollution in the region. CSL published the Final Report in December 2019. Learn More Photo: Andy Langford, NOAA

Dr. W. Alan Brewer, Program Lead
Sara Gibbons, Admin Support Assistant (303) 497-5074

NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory
325 Broadway R/CSL3
Boulder, CO 80305 USA


The Atmospheric Remote Sensing group uses land-, ship-, and aircraft-based active and passive optical systems to study processes of importance to air quality and climate, aviation and weather forecasting, wind energy, and marine ecosystems.


Our capabilities and interests include both the development and deployment of state-of-the-art lidar and spectroscopic instrumentation, and the interpretation of data obtained with these systems.


We work closely with the Tropospheric Chemistry and Cloud & Aerosol Processes research programs within CSL on air quality and climate related field studies, and with other laboratories of NOAA as well as federal and non-federal partners on research activities related to the structure and evolution of atmospheric flow systems and boundary layers.

Oceanographic Lidar
salmon counting
Developing the airborne lidar for fisheries surveys (FLOE).

Wind Energy
wind turbine
Studying the wake effect of wind turbines for improved efficiency and reduced damage.


The Atmospheric Remote Sensing research program joined what is now CSL in October 2005. The program was formerly known as the Optical Remote Sensing Division (and before that the Advanced Technique Development Division) of the NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory (ETL). Our personnel bring more than 30 years of experience developing and applying novel lidar systems for atmospheric research to CSL.


Estimating the height of the atmospheric boundary layer with lidar profiles.

Field Projects

Field Projects
Studying Colorado Front Range air pollution and photochemistry.


Lidar data from major field campaigns.


LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) systems use laser pulses to measure atmospheric constituents.