The successful launch of the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) and Cloud-Satellite (CloudSAT) satellites on April 28, 2006, placing two new active remote sensing systems (lidar and radar) in space, heralded a new era in spaceborne earth observations. Not only will they provide new information unique to active sensing satellites, but by positioning them in orbit with the A-Train constellation of satellites, joining the passive sensing satellites AURA, PARASOL and AQUA, this will enable myriad synergistic active-passive sensing opportunities. CALIPSO and CloudSAT have both successfully completed their payload checkouts and initial validations; some six months of data have already been collected and data are now beginning to be distributed to the scientific community (e.g., CALIPSO Level 1 and 2a data released on Dec. 8, 2006). Thus there are sufficient data, with more arriving daily, to fuel years of scientific studies addressing questions critical to more fully understanding the earth-atmosphere system and assessing weather-climate change issues. The Constrained Ratio Aerosol Model-fit (CRAM) technique for aerosol retrieval is examined in the context of CALIPSO data, and temporally/spatially coincident High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) data is studied with respect to its potential to provide external context to the retrievals and to verify aerosol models upon which the CRAM technique relies.