Red (660 & 635 nm), green (532 & 520 nm) and blue-violet (445 & 405 nm) lasers
A long range laser rangefinder is capable of measuring distance up to 20 km; mounted on a tripod with an angular mount. The resulting system also provides azimuth and elevation measurements.
A laser beam used for welding
Time-of-flight principles applied to laser range-finding.
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An OLS-27 IRST with laser rangefinder on the Sukhoi Su-27
A helium–neon laser demonstration. The glow running through the center of the tube is an electric discharge. This glowing plasma is the gain medium for the laser. The laser produces a tiny, intense spot on the screen to the right. The center of the spot appears white because the image is overexposed there.
An American soldier with a GVS-5 laser rangefinder
Spectrum of a helium–neon laser. The actual bandwidth is much narrower than shown; the spectrum is limited by the measuring apparatus.
A Dutch ISAF sniper team displaying their Accuracy International AWSM .338 Lapua Magnum rifle and VECTOR IV Leica/Vectronix laser rangefinder binoculars
Lidar measurements of lunar topography made by Clementine mission.
This LIDAR scanner may be used to scan buildings, rock formations, etc., to produce a 3D model. The LIDAR can aim its laser beam in a wide range: its head rotates horizontally, a mirror flips vertically. The laser beam is used to measure the distance to the first object on its path.
Laserlink point to point optical wireless network
Laser rangefinder TruPulse used for forest inventories (in combination with Field-Map technology)
Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) of the MESSENGER spacecraft
Laser rangefinder: Bosch GLM 50 C
Aleksandr Prokhorov
Charles H. Townes
LASER notebook: First page of the notebook wherein Gordon Gould coined the acronym LASER, and described the elements required to construct one. Manuscript text: "Some rough calculations on the feasibility / of a LASER: Light Amplification by Stimulated / Emission of Radiation. /
Conceive a tube terminated by optically flat / [Sketch of a tube] / partially reflecting parallel mirrors..."
Graph showing the history of maximum laser pulse intensity throughout the past 40 years.
Wavelengths of commercially available lasers. Laser types with distinct laser lines are shown above the wavelength bar, while below are shown lasers that can emit in a wavelength range. The color codifies the type of laser material (see the figure description for more details).
A 50 W FASOR, based on a Nd:YAG laser, used at the Starfire Optical Range
A 5.6 mm 'closed can' commercial laser diode, such as those used in a CD or DVD player
Close-up of a table-top dye laser based on Rhodamine 6G
The free-electron laser FELIX at the FOM Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen, Nieuwegein
Lasers range in size from microscopic diode lasers (top) with numerous applications, to football field sized neodymium glass lasers (bottom) used for inertial confinement fusion, nuclear weapons research and other high energy density physics experiments.
The US–Israeli Tactical High Energy weapon has been used to shoot down rockets and artillery shells.
Laser application in astronomical adaptive optics imaging

A laser rangefinder, also known as a laser telemeter, is a rangefinder that uses a laser beam to determine the distance to an object.

- Laser rangefinder

Lasers are used in optical disc drives, laser printers, barcode scanners, DNA sequencing instruments, fiber-optic, semiconducting chip manufacturing (photolithography), and free-space optical communication, laser surgery and skin treatments, cutting and welding materials, military and law enforcement devices for marking targets and measuring range and speed, and in laser lighting displays for entertainment.

- Laser
Red (660 & 635 nm), green (532 & 520 nm) and blue-violet (445 & 405 nm) lasers

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Making a 3D-model of a Viking belt buckle using a hand held VIUscan 3D laser scanner.

3D scanning

Process of analyzing a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance .

Process of analyzing a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance .

Making a 3D-model of a Viking belt buckle using a hand held VIUscan 3D laser scanner.
3D scanning of a fin whale skeleton in the Natural History Museum of Slovenia (August 2013)
A coordinate measuring machine with rigid perpendicular arms.
This lidar scanner may be used to scan buildings, rock formations, etc., to produce a 3D model. The lidar can aim its laser beam in a wide range: its head rotates horizontally, a mirror flips vertically. The laser beam is used to measure the distance to the first object on its path.
Principle of a laser triangulation sensor. Two object positions are shown.
Images taken from multiple perspectives such as a fixed camera array can be taken of a subject for a photogrammetric reconstruction pipeline to generate a 3D mesh or point cloud.
3D reconstruction of the brain and eyeballs from CT scanned DICOM images. In this image, areas with the density of bone or air were made transparent, and the slices stacked up in an approximate free-space alignment. The outer ring of material around the brain are the soft tissues of skin and muscle on the outside of the skull. A black box encloses the slices to provide the black background. Since these are simply 2D images stacked up, when viewed on edge the slices disappear since they have effectively zero thickness. Each DICOM scan represents about 5 mm of material averaged into a thin slice.
3D selfie in 1:20 scale printed by Shapeways using gypsum-based printing, created by Madurodam miniature park from 2D pictures taken at its Fantasitron photo booth.
Fantasitron 3D photo booth at Madurodam

At the heart of this type of scanner is a time-of-flight laser range finder.

Laser scanning describes the general method to sample or scan a surface using laser technology.