Measurements over the return signal are an integral part of lidar remote sensing by which we gather information about the characteristics of specific targets. But how much information is gained by performing a given lidar measurement? By defining Shannon's mutual information of a lidar observation, here we consider the bits of information content on the measurement and describe mathematically the capacity of lidar estimates to represent a corresponding property in the target. For heterodyne Doppler lidars in particular, we have found simple analytical formulas that consider the information gain in mean-frequency estimates.
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