Tag Archives: laser

Ancient Cambodian City Revealed in Laser Scan

Angkor-wat-640x360

Airborne laser scanning has revealed the remnants of a vast urban structure in the vicinity of Angkor Wat, a famous temple in Cambodia. The study, which will be published soon in the journal PNAS, follows earlier research that showed Angkor Wat to have been one of the world’s most complex preindustrial cities.

Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) is making it easier for archaeologists to explore human settlements in tropical vegetation; previous LIDAR work has found evidence of new cities in Central America, in addition to further enhancing the layout of known settlements such as the Mayan city of Caracol.

For the new study, the researchers used a LIDAR setup emitting up to 200,000 laser pulses each second from a helicopter. Amazingly, the entire operation for the data collection spanned just two days in April 2012 for a total 20 hours of flight time, capturing imagery that would have taken many years to assemble from the ground, if at all. The LIDAR analysis also appears to have discovered what could be an older city beside Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat

A digital recreation of Angkor Wat temple site (top) based on raw LIDAR digital terrain data (bottom). Image courtesy of PNAS.

The study has revealed new canals, temples and still unidentified manmade features, confirming a metropolitan area that housed many thousands of people, much as the Giza Plateau Mapping Project is doing for cities surrounding the Pyramids construction in Egypt.

As LIDAR technology gets cheaper, it will accelerate our understanding of early human settlements from the lingering geographic footprints we left, traces which can be almost as shallow as a footprint itself. As the authors write in their PNAS paper:

LIDAR technology has recently matured to the point where it has become cost-effective for archaeologists with sufficient accuracy and precision to identify archaeological features of only a few centimeters in size.

Image courtesy of sam garza/Wikimedia Commons

This article originally published at MIT Technology Review
here

Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/06/18/lidar-angkor-wat/

U.S. Army Could Begin Using Laser Weapons By 2023

Soldiers in the U.S. Army may soon be taking to the battlefield with laser weapons, according to a military spokesperson. Speaking to a House of Representatives subcommittee, Army for Research and Technology deputy assistant secretary Mary J. Miller said that tests are currently ongoing to determine the full capabilities of this type of weaponry, and that they could be deployed as early as 2023.

First invented back in 1960, lasers work by making huge numbers of atoms emit light particles called photons, which all have the same wavelength. In contrast to visible light, which comprises unrelated photons of multiple wavelengths, lasers emit “coherent” photons, allowing the laser beam to stay narrow over a long distance.This allows the beam to focusan enormous amount of energy on a single spot, leading to their emergence as the weapon of choice for manyscience-fiction writers.

However, while lasers already feature in a number of everyday appliances such as CD readers, the energy required to generate laser beams powerful enough to destroy a target is so great that it has so far proven impossible to develop any practical weapons using the technology. In the mid-’90s, for instance, the U.S. Air Force attempted to create a laser weapon using energy from a chemical reaction as its main power input, but found that such vast volumes of chemicals were required for this that the weapon could only be carried on a Boeing 747.

More recently, however, significant progress has been made using coiled optical fibers, which amplify the power emitted by electrical inputs, thereby generating high amounts of energy within a relatively compact unit.

This has led to the development of new laser weapons by both the U.S. Air Force and Navy, with the latter already having deployed a working laser cannon aboard one of its warships in the Gulf, capable of shooting down drones and zapping small boats, as the following video shows.

The creation of new compact laser units also enabled the Army to begin testing high-powered laser cannons mounted upon armored ground vehicles, which can be used to detonateunexploded mines, among other things.

According to Miller, weapons such as this could move from the trial phase to deployment within the next seven years.Although, she insists that the military is proceeding with cautionand wont authorize the use of any laser equipment until all the necessary tests have been completed. Lasers have been promised for a long time, but they’ve never held up and delivered what was asked for, so the operators are rightfully sceptical. That’s why the army is taking lasers out into operational environments and testing them, she said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/us-army-could-begin-using-laser-weapons-2023

Cat Attacks Office In Mini Tank

Like so many countless cat videos online, I assumed this would just be a cute and end with that. Boy was I wrong. When a little cat in a mini tank comes driving through the office, the secretary thinks its so cute. That is, until, the cat shoots her in the face with the laser gun. That’s right, get ready for action.

 

Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2011/05/14/cat-attacks-office-in-mini-tank/

Cat Goes Crazy With Laser Pointer On Head

Cat Goes Crazy With Cat Laser Pointer On Head

You can get a donkey to work all day by tying a carrot to its head to hang right in front of him. Alex Burkovskiy tried something similar with his cat. Instead of entertaining his cat with a laser point, Alex simply tied a laser pointer on top of the cat’s head. The cat spent all day playing alone trying to catch the laser dot. This video from January has only gone viral now with over a quarter million new views!

 

Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2014/09/01/cat-goes-crazy-with-cat-laser-pointer-on-head/