REMOTE SENSING & LIDAR
Litron’s Q-switched solid-state Nd:YAG lasers provide the necessary high peak powers and repetition rates. These are used to obtain meaningful data for applications such as LIDAR, environmental monitoring or atmospheric research.
LITRON LASERS FOR REMOTE SENSING & LIDAR
Lasers have been used in remote sensing applications ever since early Q-switched ruby lasers were used to determine the distance to the moon with an accuracy of a few feet.
Here, again, the high peak intensities and short pulse durations of Q-switched solid-state lasers, notably Nd:YAG are useful to obtain meaningful data both in terms of return signal strength and distance resolution.
LIDAR (light detection and ranging) in its simplest form creates an image of a distant object or group of objects by measuring the time for the return signal to reach the detector, usually a telescope with a similar field of view to the divergence of the emitted beam in order to minimize background light and thus maximize the signal to noise ratio. Examples include earth-moon distance measurement and underwater mapping, using a wavelength, typically green, e.g. 532nm from an Nd:YAG laser that penetrates water sufficiently to generate a three dimensional image of the sea or lake bed below.
LIDAR is used widely in atmospheric studies in much the same way but in order to map cloud formations or plumes of pollutants. Here, as well as distance mapping, clues as to the chemical nature of pollutants and their concentration can be obtained from looking at different return wavelengths with a spectrometer to look for signature spectra.
Finally Doppler LIDAR is an emerging technology with promise to alert pilots of adverse atmospheric conditions such as hazardous shear winds by using small shifts in wavelength of the return signals from a moving target.