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Exelis to Adapt Lidar System Under $3.5M NASA Contract

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Exelis will modify its multifunctional fiber-laser lidar (MFLL) system for aerial carbon dioxide measurements under a $3.5 million contract with NASA.

The company is collaborating with professor Dr. Kenneth Davis of Pennsylvania State University and scientists and engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center. Davis is the project lead.

The MFLL is a remote sensing system that uses a modulated CW laser to measure the difference in absorption in the atmosphere at two closely spaced wavelengths. The technique determines the number of carbon dioxide molecules in that column of air.

The research goal is to improve identification and predictions of carbon dioxide and methane sources and sinks using spaceborne, airborne and ground-based data over the eastern half of the U.S.

Last year, NASA awarded Exelis a $208 million contract to build an instrument to measure reflected sunlight and thermal radiation on Earth, and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency awarded the company a contract to build the primary payload for a satellite that will measure global atmospheric CO2 and methane. Exelis also won a U.S. Department of Energy grant for carbon sequestration assessment in 2013.

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Photonics Spectra
Mar 2015
An acronym of light detection and ranging, describing systems that use a light beam in place of conventional microwave beams for atmospheric monitoring, tracking and detection functions. Ladar, an acronym of laser detection and ranging, uses laser light for detection of speed, altitude, direction and range; it is often called laser radar.
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