The word Laser is taken from the first letter of Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, which means light amplification of stimulated radiation.
It has been decades from the emergence to the practical use of laser, another few decades to be in common use. The applications of laser have actually been developed on the basis of social needs. From a social point of view, the emergence of laser has changed the lives of human beings. With the development of science and technology, laser technology will be more commonly used in our lives.
Laser ranging is one of the earliest applications of laser. This is due to the advantages of laser such as strong directionality, high brightness and good monochromaticity. The first laser machine in the world was developed successfully in 1960 by Meman, a scientist of the Hughes Aircraft Company in the United States. On the basis of this, the US military soon carried out researches on military laser devices. In 1961, the first military laser rangefinder passed the US military demonstration test, and put into practical use soon.
Laser rangefinder is an electronic device to measure distance by use of laser. How does laser rangefinder work? It works by emitting laser beams at the push of a button. The beams bounce off the target and the rangefinder’s high-speed clock measures the total time it took from when the beam left the unit until it returned. Using that time measurement, the rangefinder calculates the distance and displays it to the user.
It is very accurate to use laser to calculate the distance. In 1965, the Soviet Union used a laser device to measure the distance between the Earth and the Moon (380’103km) with an error of only 250m. In 1969, the Americans landed on the moon, they used laser to measure the distance between the moon and earth, with an error of only 15cm.
Currently, there are mainly two types of laser products in ranging, hand-held laser rangefinder and telescope laser rangefinder, also called as long range range finder. The hand-held laser rangefinder owns excellent accuracy and suitable for short range measurement, the telescope laser rangefinder is suitable for long range measurement, while accuracy not as good as hand-held units. The most famous hand-held rangefinder is Leica rangefinder Germany, there are many popular telescope laser rangefinder such as Tupperware USA, Onick America, Leupold rangefinder and Newcomb Canada for the military industry.
Laser rangefinder can be divided into three categories per function:
(1) One-Dimensional Laser Rangefinder
For distance measurement, locating
(2) Two-Dimensional Laser Range Finder(also known as Scanning Laser Range finder)
For contour measurement, locating, area monitoring, etc.
(3) 3D Laser Range finder
For three-dimensional contour measurement, three-dimensional space locating, etc.