LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging, also LADAR) is an optical remote sensing technology that can measure the distance to, or other properties of a target by illuminating the target with light, often using pulses from a laser. LIDAR technology has application in Geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, seismology, forestry, remote sensing and atmospheric physics. Also for 'airborne laser swath mapping' (ALSM), 'laser altimetry' and LIDAR Contour Mapping. LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging, also LADAR) is an optical remote sensing technology that can measure the distance to, or other properties of a target by illuminating the target with light, often using pulses from a laser. LIDAR technology has application in Geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, seismology, forestry, remote sensing and atmospheric physics. Also for 'airborne laser swath mapping' (ALSM), 'laser altimetry' and LIDAR Contour Mapping.
LIDAR uses ultraviolet, visible, or near infrared light to image objects and can be used with a wide range of targets, including non-metallic objects, rocks, rain, chemical compounds, aerosols, clouds and even single molecules. A narrow laser beam can be used to map physical features with very high resolution. LIDAR has been used extensively for atmospheric research and meteorology. Downward-looking LIDAR instruments fitted to aircraft and satellites are used for surveying and mapping. A recent example being the NASA Experimental Advanced Research Lidar.
Wavelengths in a range from about 10 micrometers to the UV (ca. 250 nm) are used to suit the target. Typically light is reflected via backscattering. Different types of scattering are used for different LIDAR applications, most common are Rayleigh scattering, Mie scattering and Raman scattering as well as fluorescence. Based on different kinds of backscattering, the LIDAR can be accordingly called Rayleigh LiDAR, Mie LiDAR, Raman LiDAR and Na/Fe/K Fluorescence LIDAR and so on. Suitable combinations of wavelengths can allow for remote mapping of atmospheric contents by looking for wavelength-dependent changes in the intensity of the returned signal.
There are several major components to a LIDAR system:
- Laser — 600–1000 nm lasers are most common for non-scientific applications. They are inexpensive but since they can be focused and easily absorbed by the eye the maximum power is limited by the need to make them eye-safe. Eye-safety is often a requirement for most applications. A common alternative 1550 nm lasers are eye-safe at much higher power levels since this wavelength is not focused by the eye, but the detector technology is less advanced and so these wavelengths are generally used at longer ranges and lower accuracies buy viagra online india. They are also used for military applications as 1550 nm is not visible in night vision goggles unlike the shorter 1000 nm infrared laser. Airborne topographic mapping lidars generally use 1064 nm diode pumped YAG lasers, while bathymetric systems generally use 532 nm frequency doubled diode pumped YAG lasers because 532 nm penetrates water with much less attenuation than does 1064 nm. Laser settings include the laser repetition rate (which controls the data collection speed). Pulse length is generally an attribute of the laser cavity length, the number of passes required through the gain material (YAG, YLF, etc.), and Q-switch speed. Better target resolution is achieved with shorter pulses, provided the LIDAR receiver detectors and electronics have sufficient bandwidth
- Scanner and optics — How fast images can be developed is also affected by the speed at which it can be scanned into the system. There are several options to scan the azimuth and elevation, including dual oscillating plane mirrors, a combination with a polygon mirror, a dual axis scanner. Optic choices affect the angular resolution and range that can be detected. A hole mirror or a beam splitter are options to collect a return signal.
- Photodetector and receiver electronics — Two main photodetector technologies are used in lidars: solid state photodetectors, such as silicon avalanche photodiodes, or photomultipliers. The sensitivity of the receiver is another parameter that has to be balanced in a LIDAR design.
- Position and navigation systems — LIDAR sensors that are mounted on mobile platforms such as airplanes or satellites require instrumentation to determine the absolute position and orientation of the sensor. Such devices generally include a Global Positioning System receiver and an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)
- 3D imaging can be achieved using both scanning and non-scanning systems. "3D gated viewing laser radar" is a non-scanning laser ranging system that applies a pulsed laser and a fast gated camera. Imaging LIDAR can also be performed using arrays of high speed detectors and modulation sensitive detectors arrays typically built on single chips using CMOS and hybrid CMOS/CCD fabrication techniques. In these devices each pixel performs some local processing such as demodulation or gating at high speed down converting the signals to video rate so that the array may be read like a camera. Using this technique many thousands of pixels / channels may be acquired simultaneously. In practical systems the limitation is light budget rather than parallel acquisition. High resolution 3D LIDAR cameras use homodyne detection with an electronic CCD or CMOS shutter.