Rayleigh lidar technology opened the middle atmosphere (from 30–90 km) to ground-based observations. The upgraded system at the Atmospheric Lidar Observatory (ALO) on the campus of Utah State University (41.74, 111.81) has shown that these ground-based observations can be extended to 109 km, with the goal of reaching 120 km. The resultant study of short and long-term temperature trends, using Rayleigh lidar, contributes immensely to the overall understanding of the properties and dominant physical processes in the middle atmosphere and Mesosphere-Lower Thermosphere (MLT) region. Temperature variations on short time scales, from minutes to days, give insight into the effects of waves (gravity waves, tides, planetary waves), while climatological studies of temperatures can help in the study of global change throughout the atmosphere.
Sox, Leda; Wickwar, Vincent B.; Herron, Joshua P.; and Emerick, Matthew T., "Rayleigh Lidar Temperature Studies in the Upper Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere" (2013). CEDAR Workshop. Posters. Paper 20.