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Record 1 2010-04-28


Subject field(s)
  • Remote Sensing
  • Optics

Method for investigating atmospheric behaviour using pulsed light beams (lasers).


Light detection and ranging (lidar) is a technique in which a beam of light is used to make range-resolved remote measurements. A lidar [instrument] emits a beam of light, that interacts with the medium or object under study. Some of this light is scattered back toward the lidar. The backscattered light captured by the lidar's receiver is used to determine some property or properties of the medium in which the beam propagated or the object that caused the scattering. The lidar technique operates on the same principle as radar; in fact, it is sometimes called laser radar. The principal difference between lidar and radar is the wavelength of the radiation used. Radar uses wavelengths in the radio band whereas lidar uses light, that is usually generated by lasers in modern lidar systems. The wavelength or wavelengths of the light used by a lidar depend on the type of measurements being made and may be anywhere from the infrared through the visible and into the ultraviolet. The different wavelengths used by radar and lidar lead to the very different forms that the actual instruments take. The major scientific use of lidar is for measuring properties of the earth's atmosphere, and the major commercial use of lidar is in aerial surveying and bathymetry (water depth measurement). Lidar is also used extensively in ocean research and has several military applications, including chemical and biological agent detection. Lidar can also be used to locate, identify, and measure the speed of vehicles. Hunters and golfers use lidar-equipped binoculars for range finding.


  • Télédétection
  • Optique

Méthode d'étude du comportement de l'atmosphère à l'aide de faisceaux lumineux pulsés (lasers).


La détection se fait par des cellules optiques suivies de photomultiplicateurs.


Campo(s) temático(s)
  • Teledetección
  • Óptica

Método para investigar las características atmosféricas usando pulsaciones de haces de luz (láser).

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