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SAFARI 2000 Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL) Quicklook Images and Maps


The Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL) is an airborne lidar system designed specifically for studying clouds and aerosols using the NASA ER-2 High Altitude Aircraft. It provides a complete battery of cloud physics information. Included with this data set are quicklook images (.gif) of the CPL data and maps of the ER-2 flightline for each data collection flight during August-September 2000. Interested users may obtain additional images and may order the CPL binary output files through the SAFARI Cloud Physics Lidar Page (

SAFARI was the first field deployment for the CPL. During the SAFARI campaign, the CPL provided data on cloud height and structure as well as on aerosol and smoke plume structure. Quantitative optical characteristics of both clouds and smoke layers were determined. The CPL data will be used in conjunction with other airborne and ground-based instrumentation, as well as satellite data, to quantify and validate the regional emissions. Because the ER-2 typically flies at an altitude of 65,000 feet (20 km), its instruments are above 94% of the Earth's atmosphere, thereby allowing ER-2 instruments to function as spaceborne instrument simulators. Specific data products include:

The actual CPL data are stored at the CPL Web Site at NASA GSFC and can be accessed at []. Data users are asked to read and abide by the CPL Data Usage Policy. For systems specifications and other information regarding Cloud Physics Lidar, please visit the Cloud Physics Lidar Web Site.

Data Citation:

Cite this data set as follows:

McGill, M. J., D. L. Hlavka, and W. D. Hart. 2004. SAFARI 2000 Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL) Quicklook Images and Maps. Data set. Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/721.


McGill, M. J., D. L. Hlavka, W. D. Hart, E. J. Welton, and J. R. Campbell. 2003. Airborne lidar measurements of aerosol optical properties during SAFARI-2000. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, doi:10.1029/2002JD002370. Available for download at [].

McGill, M. J., D. L. Hlavka, W. D. Hart, J. D. Spinhirne, V. S. Scott, and B. Schmid. 2002. The Cloud Physics Lidar: Instrument description and initial measurement results. Applied Optics, 41:3725-3734, June 2002. Available for download at [].

Schmid, B., J. Redemann, P. B. Russell, P. V. Hobbs, D. L. Hlavka, M. J. McGill, W. D. Hart, B. N. Holben, E. J. Welton, J. Campbell, O. Torres, R. Kahn, D. Diner, M. Helmlinger, D. A. Chu, C. Robles-Gonzalez,, and G. de Leeuw. 2003. Coordinated airborne, spaceborne, and ground-based measurements of massive, thick aerosol layers during the dry season in Southern Africa. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108 (D13), 8496, doi:10.1029/2002JD002297.

Data Format:

The data files archived at ORNL DAAC are simple "quicklook" files (in GIF format), one sample CPL output image of the atmosphere and one flightline map per flight.

Additional information about the CPL images and maps, ER-2 flightlines, and the actual CPL data (stored on the CPL Web Site at NASA GSFC) is found in the companion file:

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