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ESA Pursues 3-D Imaging Lidar

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PARIS, Feb. 24, 2012 — The European Space Agency (ESA) is developing 3-D imaging lidar as a navigation aid for deep-space exploration. Lidar operates in the same fashion as radar but with shorter wavelengths since it uses light rather than radio waves. A pulsed laser beam scans targets by measuring the time it takes for the light to bounce back; its shorter wavelength offers more precise measurements — nanometers rather than the centimeters offered by radar. Separate designs were built in parallel by two consortia, one led by Jena-Optronik of Jena, Germany, and the other by ABSL of Culham, UK. ...Read full article

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