ALART is a time-of-flight lidar which uses a high repetition rate laser and a single-photon detector. The design of ALART has been optimized for vegetation height monitoring. Each detector used can individually detect the arrival time of 1024 photons per shot with a resolution of 312 picoseconds and zero dead time, providing a high resolution vertical density profile of the canopy. This unique design is also well suited to bathymetry applications.
A followup study with ESA is currently ongoing in order to develop a next generation instrument with multispectral lidar (VIS + NIR) and continuous scanning of the swath in the across-track direction. Multispectral lidar is an exciting technology that can enable land type identification and the calculation of vertically resolved vegetation indices directly from the lidar dataset.