Skip to Main Content
The Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE) is a three-wavelength backscatter lidar developed by NASA Langley Research Center to fly on the Space Shuttle. LITE flew on Discovery in September 1994 as part of the STS-64 mission. The goals of the LITE mission were to validate key lidar technologies for spaceborne applications, to explore the applications of space lidar, and to gain operational experience which will benefit the development of future systems on free-flying satellite platforms. The performance of the LITE instrument was excellent, resulting in the collection of over 40 GBytes of data. These data present us with our first highly detailed global view of the vertical structure of cloud and aerosol from the Earth's surface through the middle stratosphere. This paper will discuss the LITE instrument, the LITE mission, and briefly present some results from the Experiment. These preliminary results highlight the benefits to be obtained from long duration satellite lidars.