Usually development of a NASA scientific instrument requires a lot of funding and a lot of planning to insure that the device will perform as needed and withstand the rigors of flight. With respect to NASA’s HSRL – the High Spectral Resolution LiDAR this was not the case.
The sensor that started out as a sketch on a napkin with no funding recently surpassed 1,000 hours of collecting atmospheric data all over North America. This is the first time that NASA has had a scientific instrument put 1,000 hours on an aircraft.
Kudos to all involved and perhaps there is a lesson there that could lead to more efficient sensor development.