Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) is a two-wavelength (532 nm and 1064 nm) polarization-sensitive lidar that provides high-resolution vertical profiles of aerosols and clouds.
CALIOP uses three receiver channels: one measures the 1064 nm backscatter intensity and two channels measure orthogonally polarized components of the 532 nm backscattered signal.
The receiver telescope is 1 metre in diameter. The full-angle field of view of the telescope is 130 µrad resulting in a footprint at the Earth's surface of about 90 metres.
Dual 14-bit digitizers on each channel provide an effective 22-bit dynamic range necessary to measure backscatter signals from clouds and the molecular atmosphere. An active boresight system is used to maintain co-alignment between the transmitter and the receiver.