Researchers Unveil Long Distance 3-D Laser Imaging Camera

According to the BBC, a team of Physicists at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have unveiled a camera which uses lasers to create 3D images of objects up to a kilometer away. They believe that, with more work, the cameras range may increase to 10 kilometers (just over 6 miles).
"Mr McCarthy added: "It is clear that the system would have to be miniaturised and made more rugged, but we believe that a lightweight, fully portable scanning depth imager is possible and could be a product in less than five years."

The idea is especially intriguing when combined with 3D printing. Essentially it would be possible to create accurate, physical 3D representations of objects that are several miles away. If modifications are possible to allow the light to travel through water without severe distortion it could be used to, for example, accurately map deep parts of the ocean.

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