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LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) is an active remote sensing technology which provides 3D coordinates of the Earth? surface by performing range measurements from the sensor. Early small footprint LIDAR systems recorded multiple discrete returns from the back-scattered energy. Recent advances in LIDAR hardware now make it possible to record full digital waveforms of the returned energy. LIDAR waveform decomposition involves separating the return waveform into a mixture of components which are then used to characterize the original data. The most common statistical mixture model used for this process is the Gaussian mixture. Waveform decomposition plays an important role in LIDAR waveform processing, since the resulting components are expected to represent reflection surfaces within waveform footprints. Hence the decomposition results ultimately affect the interpretation of LIDAR waveform data. Computational requirements in the waveform decomposition process result from two factors; (1) estimation of the number of components in a mixture and the resulting parameter estimates, which are inter-related and cannot be solved separately, and (2) parameter optimization does not have a closed form solution, and thus needs to be solved iteratively. The current state-of-the-art airborne LIDAR system acquires more than 50,000 waveforms per second, so decomposing the enormous number of waveforms is challenging using traditional single processor architecture. To tackle this issue, four parallel LIDAR waveform decomposition algorithms with different work load balancing schemes - (1) no weighting, (2) a decomposition results-based linear weighting, (3) a decomposition results-based squared weighting, and (4) a decomposition time-based linear weighting - were developed and tested with varying number of processors (8-256). The results were compared in terms of efficiency. Overall, the decomposition time-based linear weighting work load balancing approach yielded the best performance among four approaches.