What is an MPL?

MPL is an acronym for Micro Pulse Lidar. A lidar instrument works in much the same way as a radar, by sending out packets of electromagnetic energy and measuring backscattered signal intensity from different ranges. In our lidars, however, we use green laser light instead of radio waves, allowing the instrument to see much smaller objects in the beam path, such as molecules and aerosols. Micro Pulse refers to the micro-joule level pulses of energy that the MPL transmits. This makes the unit smaller, cheaper, and safer than traditional lidars.

What is the Mini-MPL?

The Mini-MPL is a smaller version of the MPL ideal for measuring low-altitude aerosols. The Mini is a cost-effective, extremely portable and robust instrument that can see particles and clouds at up to 10km, day and night.

What kind of data does it gather?

The MPL comes with comprehensive data-gathering software that provides a profile of the light that is returned to the instrument. From this data, we can tell a great deal about what is in the MPLs path, including:

  • Aerosol distribution
  • Cloud heights (range)
  • Cloud thicknesses (extent)
  • Cloud water content
  • Cloud ice content
  • Particulate plume locations

The software is researcher-oriented, and contains a suite of tools for organizing and analyzing the raw data.

What is the maximum range of the system?

The standard MPL can see clouds and aerosols at altitudes of up to 15km during the day, and 24km at night.

What is the minimum range of the system?

The standard MPL can range from 90 m.

Is the MPL portable?

Our MPLs have traveled around the globe on a wide variety of research missions. The entire system ships in one box, and can be moved and installed by a team of two people. MPLs can be used on boats and in vans, and enclosures are available that allow the units to run in extreme weather conditions. The MPL can be customized to meet the needs of your project.

Why use a green laser?

Green light is ideal for the MPL because it is optimized for aerosol sensing, and it more sensitive to PM 2.5 particles. Moreover it is completely skin safe, and its visibility is really helpful for easy use and early alert.

What are the installation site requirements?

The only thing you need is electrical power, temperature between 20/25 C and a clear view of the sky, through a hatch or window (sold separately). The MPL can operate at either 110 or 220 Volts, and draws 8 or 4 Amps respectively.

Do I need installation and training?

NO SPECIAL INSTALLATION AND TRAINING IS NEEDED TO OPERATE OUR MPL, but we can provide on site installation and training upon request.

How long is the standard warranty period?

Sigma certifies the Micro Pulse Lidar to conform to product specifications and free from any defect for a period of twelve months (Warranty Period) from the date of shipping.

How much maintenance is needed?

NO MAINTENANCE IS NEEDED, apart from a periodic dusting!

What consumables need to be routinely replaced?

NO REPLACEMENT IS NEEDED FOR OVER A YEAR OF 24/7 OPERATION. The laser pump diode has a lifetime of about 10,000 hours, after which it needs replacing. These diodes are field-replaceable and this is generally a 15-30 minute process.

What is the lead-time to purchase an MPL?

The typical delivery time is 90 days ARO.

What papers have been published using these instruments?

Many different researchers have published papers with data they have collected from our MPLs, click here to see a list.

How much is an MPL?

MPL are priced very competitively. Please contact our sales.

How many MPLs has Sigma sold?

We have sold more than 50 units all over the world. See our MPL clients locations.