Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) systems have demonstrated some capability to meet the needs of a fast-response standoff biological detection method for simulants in open air conditions. These systems are designed to exploit various cloud signatures, such as differential elastic backscatter, fluorescence, and depolarization in order to detect biological warfare agents (BWAs). However, because the release of BWAs in open air is forbidden, methods must be developed to predict candidate system performance against real agents. In support of such efforts, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU/APL) has developed a modeling approach to predict the optical properties of agent materials from relatively simple, Biosafety Level 3-compatible bench top measurements. JHU/APL has fielded new ground truth instruments (in addition to standard particle sizers, such as the Aerodynamic particle sizer (APS) or GRIMM aerosol monitor (GRIMM)) to more thoroughly characterize the simulant aerosols released in recent field tests at Dugway Proving Ground (DPG). These instruments include the Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS), the Ultraviolet Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (UVAPS), and the Aspect Aerosol Size and Shape Analyser (Aspect). The SMPS was employed as a means of measuring small-particle concentrations for more accurate Mie scattering simulations; the UVAPS, which measures size-resolved fluorescence intensity, was employed as a path toward fluorescence cross section modeling; and the Aspect, which measures particle shape, was employed as a path towards depolarization modeling.