5 Types of LiDAR Lasers: Exploring Laser Technologies for Remote Sensing

Technology is meticulously shaping the world into a realm of unbelievable discoveries. Lidar technology is one such technology that is remarkably contributing to different sectors such as the automotive industry, construction, and research. Lidar laser revolutionized the field of sensing by harnessing laser light to measure distances and craft 3D images. It offers unparalleled accuracy and swift data collection for versatile applications. In the current scenario, there are many different types of lidar available in the market contributing to different industries. 

In this blog, we will explore different kinds of lidar technologies to know how these lasers function and their benefits.

5 Types of LiDAR Lasers: Exploring Laser Technologies for Remote Sensing

Top 5 Types of Laser Technologies for Remote Sensing

Solid State Lidar

Solid state lidar is the improvised form of traditional lidar that provides precise 3D mapping in a more accurate and cost-effective way in comparison to traditional lidar. Manufactured using silicon chips, solid-state lidar has fewer moving parts that improve the overall reliability of the system leading to lower maintenance and longer operational timelines.

Solid state lidars are compact in size and light in weight, therefore serve as a more comfortable option in limited space areas. Their compact size also enables a diverse range of applications by easy integration into various platforms.

The absence of huge mechanical parts reduces the risk of wear and tear and promises high-end durability. That’s why solid state lidars are a go-to choice option for challenging areas that have exposure to variable temperatures, vibrations, and shock. 

Applications of Solid State Lidar in Different Industries 

Automotive Industry: Autonomous driving is currently capturing the center stage in the automotive industry. Solid state lidars play a vital role in giving life to this technology. These lidar lasers use high-resolution 3D mapping to provide a real-time view of a vehicle’s surroundings. It improves the ability of perception and decision making of drivers that enhances safety and accurate navigation. 

Robotics: Robotics being an evolving field needs cutting-edge technologies to provide enhanced results. Solid state lidars are mainly used for SLAM( simultaneous localization and mapping) in this industry. The unbeatable 3D mapping of these lidars is becoming ideal for a cascade of applications starting from warehouse automation to rescue missions. 

Environmental Monitoring: Solid-state LiDAR lasers play a vital role in environmental monitoring by providing accurate and detailed data for applications like forestry management, flood modeling, and urban planning. Their ability to create high-resolution topographic maps aids in understanding and managing natural landscapes.

Mechanical Scanning Lidar

Mechanical scanning lidars are analogs to solid state lidars which means they provide the same application but with a different structural configuration. Unlike Solid State Lidar, mechanical scanning lidar contains moving parts such as a rotating mirror and prisms for creating the 3D footprint. These moving bodies play a crucial role in maintaining the accuracy of the whole mechanism.

The rotating mirror that is mounted on an axis of the lidar, helps to reflect the laser pulses in different directions. By controlling the speed and angle of light using a mirror, the beam can be swept across the area. The reflected laser pulses bounce back from the objects in the surroundings, allowing the mechanism to draw a 3D map of the environment.

Pros and Cons

Mechanical lidar systems have a swift fast movement in creating 3D maps with high resolution. Their powerful laser source helps in capturing distance images making them beneficial for finding fine details in complex scenes

But their dependency on moving components like rotating mirrors makes their use complicated and maybe a failure in cases of poor application. Having heavy mechanical parts also increase the weight and size of the machine leading to limited application. 

Flash Lidar

Flash lidar operates on the phenomenon of flash scanning technology or the principles of illuminating an entire scene with a single but intense laser pulse. Flash-scanning lidar is very fast in comparison to mechanical and traditional lidars. It captures the full scene in an instant by flooding it with laser light and measuring the time it takes for the light to bounce back. 

By knowing the speed of light and the time of flight, the system calculates the distance between the sensor and each point on the objects within the scene. This process is repeated for numerous points, creating a dense point cloud that represents the scene in three dimensions.

Application of Flash Lidar

Real-Time Mapping: One of the prominent and revolutionary applications of flash Lidar contains real-time mapping of objects to create comprehensive 3D models. It includes mapping of urban localisations, disaster zones, and construction sites. Their lighting speed activity provides super fast and accurate data collection.

Industrial Inspection: Flash Lidar has become a valuable asset for the inspection of industrial areas. Architects can quickly access data regarding complex structures for enabling cost-efficient maintenance and troubleshooting of the process.

Optical Phased Array Lidar

This type of Lidars leverages the power of advanced optics to have precise control of laser beams to achieve enhanced mapping. Optical phased array lidar manipulates a single laser beam to enable scanning and imaging. This technology makes them a perfect choice for high-resolution imaging in a very short time.

Optical phased array lidar utilizes a range of closely separated laser beam emitters that have their own phase shifter. The phase shifter is the crucial component to balance the strength and direction of the laser beam. Using phase shifter users combine the laser beams for a coherent effect. 

Advantages Of Optical Phased Array Lidar

Rapid Scanning: Using the phase shifter allows optical phase lidars rapidly scanning of distant objects without losing quality. The ability of beam control helps them to accelerate the process even faster.

High Resolution: As optical phases, Lidar can manipulate the path of the beams they are able to create highly enhanced maps by creating coherent sources of light. It is effective in capturing minute details at distant places.

Fiber Lidar

Fiber laser technology is one of the most advanced and newly introduced lidars in the market. These lidars use optical fibers as the medium to create the laser beam. Fiber lidars have high intensity, stability, and the ability to generate pulsed laser outputs making them unique from others.

Application of Fiber Lidar

Fiber laser LiDAR technology finds notable applications in the fields of long-range remote sensing and atmospheric studies:

Long-Range Remote Sensing: Fiber laser LiDAR systems are capable of emitting powerful laser pulses, which enable long-range measurements. This makes them valuable for applications such as topographic mapping, forestry management, and geological surveys, where accurate measurements over extensive distances are required.

Atmospheric Studies: Fiber laser LiDAR can be used for atmospheric studies to measure various parameters, including aerosol distribution, cloud properties, and greenhouse gas concentrations. These systems are crucial for understanding climate change, air quality, and atmospheric processes.


In summary, we can say lidar is one of the unique and sensational technologies that is tremendously transforming the world of 3D mapping. It is continuously evolving and many options are yet to come in the future for enhanced performance. Stay tuned with us to know more.

About Us

Inphenix Inc is one the leading laser and light source manufacturers in the USA. We manufacture advanced lidar lasers that act as key elements in various industries. With the use of cutting-edge technologies and expert manufacturing, we ensure unbeatable quality. We have a wide range of products for the use of various industries like medical, telecom, sensing and measurement industries.