New lasers for climate research

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Weather reports, climate models or rocket launches – they all need precise data from the atmosphere. To acquire such data, scientists can use LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) systems to shoot laser beams into the sky. The backscattered light can be used to calculate wind and temperature data at altitudes of up to 100 km. A team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and the Leibniz Institute for Atmospheric Physics IAP has developed a portable LIDAR system that works autonomously. In the future, such systems could be mass-produced and combined into networks to provide high quality climate data.