Lidar measurements for desert dust characterization : an overview
We provide an overview of light detection and ranging (lidar) capability for describing and characterizing desert dust. This paper summarizes lidar techniques, observations, and fallouts of desert dust lidar measurements. The main objective is to provide the scientific community, including nonpractitioners of lidar observations with a reference paper on dust lidar measurements. In particular, it will fill the current gap of communication between research-oriented lidar community and potential desert dust data users, such as air quality monitoring agencies and aviation advisory centers. The current capability of the different lidar techniques for the characterization of aerosol in general and desert dust in particular is presented. Technical aspects and required assumptions of these techniques are discussed, providing readers with the pros and cons of each technique. Information about desert dust collected up to date using lidar techniques is reviewed. Lidar techniques for aerosol characterization have a maturity level appropriate for addressing air quality and transportation issues, as demonstrated by some first results reported in this paper.