LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging, also LADAR) is an optical remote sensing technology that can measure the distance to, or other properties of a target by illuminating the target with light, often using pulses from a laser. LIDAR technology has application in geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, seismology, forestry, remote sensing and atmospheric physics, as well as in airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM), laser altimetry and LIDAR contour mapping.
The acronym LADAR (Laser Detection and Ranging) is often used in military contexts. The term "laser radar" is sometimes used, even though LIDAR does not employ microwaves or radio waves and therefore is not radar in the strict sense of the word.
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