A CO2 heterodyne lidar system and high speed digitizer were used to examine properties of returns from disk and belt-type calibration targets and atmospheric aerosols. Amplitude statistics of the returns from the targets examined corresponded to those of the Rayleigh phasor predicted by theory. Returns from a belt sander fluctuated at a much slower rate than those from the disks or aerosols, requiring longer averaging times for accurate power measurement. At very close focal lengths returns from single large particles often dominated the backscattered aerosol signal.
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