Vertical profiles of temperature from NDACC/OHP Rayleigh Lidar Level 2


The Lidar is an instrument probing the atmosphere with a laser. By illuminating an atmosphere volume with a light pulsed, the backscattered light is collected with a telescope or lens and collected photons are detected with a photomultiplier using a counting mode when using a wavelength on the visible spectra domain.Differences in laser return times provide vertical information.
The name lidar, is now used as an acronym of light detection and ranging.
Rayleigh lidar uses the molecular scattering. In case the atmosphere is free of particles and remains with a constant mixing ratio, collected photons are linearly related to air density. In assuming air is in hydrostatic equilibrium and obeys the perfect gas law, temperature profiles can be derived from 30 km to 80-90 km (Hauchecorne et al., 1980). The accuracy is better than 1K below 70 km. The design are described in Keckhut et al (1993).
Measurements are performed in routine since 1979 from The Observatory of Haute-Provence (Longitude = 5°42' 44" E Latitude = +43°55' 54") in the geophysical station (named Gérard Mégie) located in south of France.
These observations are obtained in the NDACC framework and the quality is checked through inter-comparisons with a mobile lidar operated by NASA (Keckhut et al., 2004). Recent comparisons with the two collocated lidar allows to have a better uncertainty estimates (Wing et al., 2018).

Temporal extents

1991-01-03 through 2018-11-19 (periodic update)
Monthly data

Data access

http download links

Temperature quicklooks


Parameter name
Parameter keyword
Upper air temperature


Station OHP


NASA Ames (v.2110)
NDACC Ames Database Header


Hauchecorne A., M.L. Chanin, Density and temperature profiles obtained by lidar between 35 and 70 km, Geophys. Res. Lett., 7, 565-568, 1980.>

Keckhut P., A. Hauchecorne and M.L. Chanin, A critical review on the data base acquired for the long term surveillance of the middle atmosphere by French Rayleigh lidars, J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 10, 850-867, 1993.

Keckhut, P., S. McDermid, D. Swart, T. McGee, S. Godin-Beekmann, A. Adriani, J. Barnes, J-L. Baray, H. Bencherif, H. Claude, G. Fiocco, G. Hansen, A. Hauchecorne, T. Leblanc, C.H. Lee, S. Pal, G. Megie, H. Nakane, R. Neuber, W. Steinbrecht, and J. Thayer, Review of ozone and temperature lidar validations performed within the framework of the Network for the Detection of Stratospheric Change, J. Environ. Monit., 6, 721-733, 2004.!divAbstract

Wing R., A. Hauchecorne, P. Keckhut, S. Godin-Beekmann, S. Khaykin, E. M. McCullough, J-F. Mariscal, and E. d’Almeida, Lidar temperature series in the middle atmosphere as a reference data set. Part 1: Improved retrievals and a 20 year cross validation of two co-located French lidars, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, European Geosciences Union, 11 (10), pp.5531 - 5547. 〈10.5194/amt-11-5531-2018〉

Spatial extents

Lidar observations provide temperature measurements of the vertical column from 30 to 80-90 km with 1 km step and around 3km vertical resolution.


Principal Investigator/Owner

Alain HAUCHECORNE (LATMOS/IPSL, Sorbonne Université, UVSQ, CNRS)
Philippe KECKHUT (LATMOS/IPSL, Sorbonne Université, UVSQ, CNRS)

Point of contact
NDACC contact (IPSL)

Few words about NDACC