We’ve talked about many different uses for lasers, and it seems with each passing week, a new story shows up that once again demonstrates how powerful and valuable laser technology can be.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the flooding caused by a 2013 storm in Colorado.
But what exactly does that have to do with lasers?
A couple of years ago in Colorado, much of the state faced rains that were so heavy flooding destroyed homes, roads, and more.
In fact, thousands of people had to be evacuated in order to stay safe. Interestingly, Colorado is a state that has areas covered in dirt and sand that have built up over thousands of years.
- This storm did a nice job washing away a lot of that dirt.
This is where lasers come into the picture. Geomorphologists often wonder how often and to what degree landscapes are altered by this storm in Colorado.
According to this Wired.com article, researchers were able to build 3-D maps of the area using lasers, which led them to conclude that this storm really was one of the most important events when it comes to the geographic makeup of the area.
Airplanes flying over the state were equipped with LiDAR, a type of measuring technology that utilizes thousands of lasers. These were able to create maps of the area that showed detailed information about the topography.
- Because one of these maps was created in 2010, before the storm, researchers were able to see how clearly the flooding really changed the area.
This is just one instance where lasers are changing our understanding of the world we live in. They’re also changing our understanding of the world we used to live in.
In other words, lasers are changing the way the archaeology game is played.
When most people think of archaeologists, they picture people in the desert or on the side of a mountain digging up rocks and dirt. But, thanks to several forms of new technology, archaeologists often don’t even have to set foot on the ground they are investigating. How exactly do they accomplish this?
Well, lasers and drones are just two of the ways that are paving the way forward for noninvasive methods of learning more about the ground and what’s underneath it.
For example, LiDAR scans make use of red-light lasers in order to create a detailed map of a slice of land. However, there are some limitations with this technology.
Interestingly, water can absorb red light, which renders LiDAR scans useless when archaeologists need to investigate something underwater.
That won’t always be a limitation however. According to this article, NASA is currently working with a firm in Austrian in order to upgrade and improve this laser technology.
One day soon they hope to use green-light lasers that will have no trouble working in the ocean.
Other methods of conducting archaeological research, like mounting radars and cameras on drones, is allowing archaeologists to preserve the environment while learning more about it.
We’re always interested to see how laser technology and similar devices are used to further the efforts of people in different industries. We continue to look forward to what the future holds for lasers and how people use them.
This is just another of the many uses of laser technology.
For more news about laser technology, make sure you keep reading our blog. And if you have any questions about laser alignment systems, get in touch with our team today!