"Science fiction is what scientists would do if they could - if they had enough grant money, enough time, and enough brains to do the wonderful things they would like to do."
This is a very cool technology, and one which has real potential for use (and miniaturization).
Lidar stands for Light Detection And Ranging; it is a real technology being explored today. The device sends light out toward a target, which interacts with the target and is changed by it. Some of this light is reflected or scattered back to the lidar device, where it is analyzed. The simplest lidars are range finders (determine the distance to the object). DIAL (Differential Absorption Lidar) is used to measure the concentrations of chemical pollutants in the atmosphere. A DIAL uses two selected laser wavelengths; one is absorbed by the target molecules, the other is not. The difference in the return signals can be used to determine the concentration of the selected molecule in the target sample. Other names for lidar are laser radar, optical radar and ladar. Find more information about lidar at the LIDAR Tutorial, courtesy of our friends at NASA.gov.
Other names for lidar are laser radar, optical radar and ladar. Find more information about lidar at the LIDAR Tutorial, courtesy of our friends at NASA.gov.
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