Laser remote sensing is a powerful technique with a wide range of applications in fields as diverse as atmospheric studies, marine ecology, space exploration, air travel safety and military target identification, thus addressing societal needs. Many LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) instruments have been developed, from ground-based, airborne and space-based platforms. However, significant improvements (more durable, lightweight, economical) are required in materials used for the LIDAR instrumentation system. This book, first published in 2005, reviews and outlines trends and challenges in this important field. Contributions from key research institutions show that advanced devices developed by the telecommunication industry can play an important role in addressing the increasing demand for more efficient and compact LIDAR systems. Fiber optics lasers and MEMS-based semiconductor lasers are examples of such devices. Reliability of LIDAR instruments is also addressed. Indeed, for LIDAR instruments operating in space, the reliability and lifetime of laser diodes are particularly critical.
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