The Lufft CHM15k – World-Class Ceilometer for Meteorology, Scientific Research, and More

The CHM15k ceilometer monitors cloud bases and aerosol backscatter profiles up to a height of 15 km.

The device runs at 1064 nm, a wavelength where water absorption is not a concern, and incorporates a solid-state laser. Photon counting is the measurement mode used by the detecting unit.

The CHM15k is a member of a group of instruments known as micro pulse lidars (MPL). It is mostly utilized in the science market that is run by research institutions, environmental authorities, and met services.

When the whole troposphere is of interest, the CHM15k is employed. This specific model is made to work with 230 VAC power sources.


  • Meteorology Observations
  • Solar Site Prospecting and Research
  • Meteorology Research


Strong Signal Quality

The sensor’s steady wavelength and Nd:YAG narrow-beam microchip laser, which operates in the 1064 nm region, help it to produce good quality signal. Additionally, its technology provides effective daylight suppression and minimizes temperature variations.


It can function both as an advanced aerosol research tool and as a component of a large measuring network.

Continuous Operation

The CHM 15k has a user-friendly design that allows for continuous, unattended operation.


Source: OTT HydroMet

Technical Attributes
*Parameters Measured Lidar (optical, time of flight)
Aerosol backscatter profile
Accuracy ±16 ft (±5 m)
Battery Backup No
Cable Length 32.8 ft (10 m)
Cloud Detection Range 50 - 50,000 ft (15 m - 15 km)
Compliance Certifications ISO 10109 - 11
1M, IEC 60825-1:2014
Dimensions 19.7 x 19.7 x 61 in (500 x 500 x 1550 mm)
DSL Modem No
Field-of-View 0.45 mrad
Filter Bandwidth 1 nm
Interface RS485 (ASCII communication)
LAN (Web-Interface, (S-)FTP, NetTools)
Optional: DSL modem, RS232 for service
IP Rating IP65
Light Source Nd: YAG solid state laser
Measuring Range 0 - 50,000 ft (0 - 15 km)
Number of Layers 1 - 9 layer (programmable); 3 layer preset
Operating Frequency 5 - 7 kHz
Power Consumption 250 W (Standard)
800 W (in maximum heating mode)
Power Supply 230 VAC, ±10 %
Product highlights Cloud base height (CBH),
Cloud penetration depth (CPD), Aerosol layer height (ALH) Cloud cover in octas (WMO 2700), Vertical visibility in m, Sky condition index
Pulse Energy 7 µJ
Relative Humidity 0 - 100 %
Resolution Time: 2 - 600 s
Range: 16, 33, 49 ft
Temperature Range -40 - +131 °F (-40 - +55 °C)
UPS Functionality Internal backup battery for electronics >1 h (opt.)
Wavelength 1064 nm
Weight 154 lbs (287 lbs incl. Packaging) or 70 kg (130 kg incl. Packaging)
Wind Speed 197 ft/s (60 m/s)

CHM15k-A Ceilometer for Aerosol Backscatter Profiles

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