Light Detection and Ranging
Lidar (also written LIDAR, LiDAR or LADAR) is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light. Although thought by some to be an acronym of Light Detection And Ranging, the term lidar was actually created as a portmanteau of “light” and “radar”. There is also a commonly used military reference to the meaning of the term LIDAR. The military use of the term LIDAR is taken to mean; “Laser Illuminated Detection And Ranging”. This is a term which the military has adopted as the name of a sensor which is utilized for the purposes of the detection, identification, and the precision measurement of the range of a target. The information generated by the sensor is used in the targeting, command, and control computers of automated and semi automated weapons systems. The sensor is also being used for precision short and long range target detection, identification, and ranging measurements in the computerized command, control, and navigation systems of autonomous, semi-autonomous, and remotely operated manned and unmanned vehicles. The sensor is also being exploited for use in this area in civilian ground vehicles. Lidar is popularly used as a technology to make high-resolution maps, with applications in geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, seismology, forestry, remote sensing, atmospheric physics, airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM), laser altimetry, and contour mapping.