This is the Ctruth Article of the Month for June, 2020. The topic for the Article of the Month is voted on each month by Ctruth patrons. The topic for the June 2020 article is science. A special thanks goes out from Ctruth to the Ctruth patrons. Thank you for your pledges and your votes.

If you are not a patron yet, you can pledge here or by clicking the Patreon image at the end of this article.

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“LIDAR technology has advanced to the point where we can now see objects as we’ve never seen before. From hazard assessment, such as lava flows, landslides, tsunamis, and floods, to watershed and river surveys, LIDAR has many beneficial uses. City planning, people and vehicle counting and climate monitoring are easier, and meteorology and mining are more innovative and environmentally-friendly.”

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a technology that rapidly measures the positions of different objects and is commonly used to make high resolution maps. It has applications in surveying, forestry, geodesy, geomatics, seismology, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, atmospheric physics, laser guidance, airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM), laser altimetry, and autonomous cars.

The Grand Canyon

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1904 – RADAR is first successfully used by Christian Huelsmeyer to help ships at sea avoid colliding with other objects.

1930 – EH Synge suggests in Philosophical Magazine that search lights might be used for investigating the upper atmosphere.

1935 – The first lab experiments on this topic are conducted by the Carnegie Institution and USDA scientists. They conclude that it could work up to 70 km/43 miles.

1937 – Edward O. Hulbert, Naval Research Laboratory scientist, conducts the first searchlight experiment; film picks up traces up to 28 kilometers/17 miles.

1939 – Ellis A. Johnson, who worked on the experiment in 1935, uses a searchlight to capture signals up to 40 km/25 miles.

1938 – Light pulses are used to study the heights of clouds.

1953 – The first microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (maser) is built by Charles Townes and his team.

1960 – Theodore Maiman demonstrates the first laser.

1961 – Hughes creates the first prototype lidar (laser radar).

1962 – The Hughes Mark II Colidar is the first commercial lidar to go on the market.

1964 – Richard Schotland measures water vapor using differential absorption lidar (DIAL).

1964 – Henry Plotkin’s NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center team does the first satellite laser ranging, bouncing light from ruby laser off corner cube retroreflectors on Beacon 22..

1966 – MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Firepond lidar experiment launched to try and discern incoming nuclear warheads from decoys; cancelled in 1981.

1968 – Warren Johnson and Ed Uthe of SRI use portable SRI mark V lidar to track Keystone Generation Station’s smokestack plume.

1970s – NASA uses LIDAR.

1971 – The first lidar in space, a lunar altimeter built by RCA, flies on Apollo 15.

Mid 1990s – LIDAR scanners are capable of producing 2,000 to 25,000 pulses per second and are mainly being used for topographic mapping of the earth’s surface.

2001 – British researcher use lidar to do aerial scans of the region surrounding the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

2005 – David Hall invents 3D LIDAR to give autonomous vehicles real-time 360-degree vision.

Today – LIDAR can now do a statement of over 1 million points per second within 5 mm accuracy.

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