keywords: Atmospheric aerosol, elastic LiDAR, conventional LiDAR, imaging LiDAR, air-quality
Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system is an active remote sensing technique which operates within the optical spectral wavelength range. The ability of LiDAR to provide range-resolved information with high temporal and spatial resolution makes it suitable to be widely used in atmospheric sensing devices to measure temperature, humidity, wind speed, aerosols and/clouds, and others. This paper contains the comparison between two types of elastic LiDAR (conventional LiDAR and imaging LiDAR); their techniques, methodologies and state of the art instrumentation utilized to acquire atmospheric aerosol information in a transition to make it simple and cost effective for ease of accessibility in scientific and research community. However, it takes different degrees of instrumental sophistication to retrieve structural (aerosol layer profiling), optical (backscatter and extinction coefficients) and microphysical (size, shape and type) properties. Ground-based coordinated LiDAR networks and space borne orbiting LiDARs together will provide a better understanding of the role of aerosols and/clouds in the global radiative balance and contribute to air-quality forecasts and meteorological analyses. The up-to-dateprogress as well as the future prospect of LiDAR has been outlined in this paper.