Photonics Dictionary

laser rangefinder

A laser rangefinder is a device that uses laser technology to measure the distance between the device and a target. It operates on the principle of measuring the time it takes for a laser beam to travel to the target and back, calculating the distance based on the speed of light. Laser rangefinders are commonly used in various applications, including surveying, hunting, golfing, military and defense, and outdoor activities.

Key points about laser rangefinders:

Distance measurement: The primary function of a laser rangefinder is to accurately measure the distance between the device and a target. This is achieved by emitting a laser beam towards the target and measuring the time it takes for the laser beam to travel to the target and back.

Time-of-flight principle: Laser rangefinders operate on the time-of-flight principle. The device emits a short pulse of laser light, and the time it takes for the light to reflect off the target and return is used to calculate the distance.

Speed of light: The speed of light is a constant, and by knowing this constant and measuring the time it takes for the laser pulse to travel, the device can accurately calculate the distance to the target.


Surveying and mapping: Laser rangefinders are used in surveying and mapping applications to measure distances between survey points or to gather topographic data.

Golfing: Golfers use laser rangefinders to determine the distance to the flag or other landmarks on the golf course, helping them make more informed decisions about club selection.

Hunting: Hunters use laser rangefinders to estimate the distance to their target, aiding in shot placement and improving accuracy.

Military and defense: Laser rangefinders are utilized in military and defense applications for range finding, target acquisition, and artillery fire control.

Outdoor and nature observation: Laser rangefinders are used by outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and nature observers to measure distances to landmarks or wildlife.

Accuracy and precision: Laser rangefinders offer high accuracy and precision in distance measurements, making them valuable tools in situations where knowing the exact distance is crucial.

Compact and portable: Many laser rangefinders are compact, lightweight, and portable, making them easy to carry and use in various outdoor settings.

Multiple target measurement: Some laser rangefinders are capable of measuring distances to multiple targets or providing continuous distance measurements, allowing users to track moving objects.

Modes and features: Laser rangefinders often come with different modes and features, such as slope compensation, angle measurement, and various targeting modes, enhancing their versatility in different applications.

We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze our website traffic as stated in our Privacy Policy. By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.