Fiorani, L; Colao, F; Palucci, A (2011). ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING BY LASER RADAR. ROMANIAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICS, 56(4-Mar), 448-459.
According to the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles, earth, water, air and fire are the elements of our universe. Indeed lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, the three main spheres of our environment, are mainly made of earth, water and air, respectively. The laser source being a modern fire that can be successfully applied to powerful diagnostics on earth, water and air ideally completes the Empedocles' set of elements. This paper originates from an invited presentation given at the "3(rd) Workshop on Optoelectronic Techniques for Environmental Monitoring - OTEM 2009" (Bucharest, 30 September - 2 October 2009) and provides a review on the activities of the Laser Applications Section of ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development). Its aim is to introduce the reader to laser radar and to present some applications of this technique to the monitoring of lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. The results shown in these studies demonstrate that laser remote sensing helps us in understanding the Earth system and the relations among its components.