In the case of Port Hedland, the atmospheric LiDAR studies were seeking to understand the potential source, directional movement of dust plumes and concentrations of dust particles in the Port Hedland Airshed.
LiDAR measures the relative concentration of all particulate matter (not just dust) including PM10 and PM2.5, water vapour, and other suspended particulates and solid objects, which can then be represented visually.
LiDAR is a useful tool in this regard. However, care should be exercised when interpreting such imagery because LiDAR does not differentiate between particulates and solid objects.
LiDAR only operates at the level it has been set.