Multi-Wavelength LIDAR Will Measure Atmospheric Properties for Climate Change, Atmospheric Chemistry, and Air Quality

Michigan Aerospace Corporation, an advanced engineering and products company, today announced that it was awarded a $1.5 million grant under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants Program, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Michigan Aerospace will develop and deploy a multi-wavelength Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system that will measure properties of aerosols critical for understanding climate change, atmospheric chemistry, and air quality. This system will also measure aerosol optical depth, backscatter, depolarization, molecular temperature, molecular density, and wind velocity along the laser propagation direction. The NIST system will take advantage of Michigan Aerospace’s technological advancements that permit the separation of molecular and aerosol scattering, allowing better measurements of atmospheric aerosols and transmittance.

Congressman John D. Dingell of Michigan commented on the award: “I am pleased to see that Michigan Aerospace’s outstanding work has been recognized. The company is on the forefront of LIDAR development and clearly others see just how good that work is. This is the kind of federal investment that will help Michigan retain and attract highly skilled workers and great minds in the 21st century. I applaud the decision by NIST.”

Also commenting on the award, CEO Peter Tchoryk said that “the new LIDAR capabilities provided by this program will advance air quality and climate-change related measurements and also accelerate commercialization of our atmospheric measurement systems for wind energy, aircraft, airports, weather forecasting, and defense applications. Our technology is important to a number of critical applications and we want to be ready to supply them in production level quantities.”

Out of over 1,300 proposals received by NIST, only 27 received grants under this competitive program.