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How are lasers used to calculate distance?

Blog How Are Laser Used to Calculate Distance

Blog How Are Laser Used to Calculate Distance

Lasers can be used to measure distance without the need for physical contact. They can allow you to make more precise readings, and you can record them more quickly. You can even measure larger distances with a great deal of efficiency. These types of laser measuring tools can be used in a number of applications (such as architecture, crime scene investigations, and military operations).

How Laser Measuring Tools Work

Laser measuring tools send a beam to the target, which reflects off the surface and is sent back to the device. Lasers are focused beams of light that stay at a particular frequency. And because they travel from one place to another at a fairly constant rate, they can be used to measure distance with a great deal of accuracy. A laser measuring device also has a longer range than many other measuring tools, which gives it an advantage over other devices that become less precise the farther out you measure. Lasers are less likely to disperse than white light, so they can travel at a greater distance without losing their intensity. They keep most of their intensity once they reflect off a target, which is important if you want to get accurate distance measurements.

The accuracy of a laser tape measure or any other laser measuring device depends on the pulse that comes back to the sending device. While laser beams are narrow and have a high amount of energy, they can be affected by the same atmospheric distortions as standard white light. It's harder to get a more accurate distance reading if the object is near greenery or is at a distance that’s greater than one kilometer. Different materials can also absorb or scatter light and can impede its ability to reflect back to the device.


Blog How Are Laser Used to Calculate Distance

Techniques for Laser Distance Measurements

Some of the techniques for using laser measuring tools include:
  • Triangulation Method — A geometric method that be used to measure distance within a broad range.
  • Time-of-Flight Measurement — A system that's based on measuring the time a laser pulse takes to reach the target and back to the measuring device, which is used in many different rangefinders.
  • Phase Shift Method — Uses a modulated laser beam to measure distance, which is incorporated into some laser rangefinders. It measures the phase shift of the beam’s intensity modulation as it relates to the time of flight. And compared to interferometric techniques, the accuracy of this method is lower. It does, however, allow you to make more precise measurements over longer distances. It's also better suited for targets with diffuse reflection.
  • Frequency Modulation Method — Involves the use of frequency-modulated laser beams, which allows you to measure distance by looking at the frequency offset. This is done through a beat node of the beam that has been sent out and received).
A laser measuring device can allow you to measure distance with a greater degree of accuracy than other measuring methods. And if you’re looking for a place to find a laser measuring tape or any other measuring device, be sure to look at the broad selection we have at Engineering Supply.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Accurate Are Laser Measuring Tools?

Most laser measuring tools designed for construction use can easily measure distances of 50 feet or more. The precision of these measurements typically falls within a range of 1/16-1/8 of an inch. This allows you to get accurate readings even from afar.

What Factors Should You Consider When Buying a Digital Measuring Device?

The application for which you are using a digital tape measure will determine most of the specifications you need. In general, though, you need to take several factors into account:
  • Range needed
  • Environmental conditions
  • Measurement units
  • Dust resistance
  • Water resistance
  • Battery life
  • Display size and readability
  • Memory capacity

How Do You Use a Laser Measuring Tool?

The basic concept of using laser measuring tools is the same as using a traditional tape measure. You place the tool on a sturdy surface at one end of the distance you want to measure and aim the laser at the other end. Then all you have to do is press a button to read the distance on the display screen.

Is a Laser Tape Measure Necessary?

If you do any kind of construction work, a laser tape measure is well worth the investment, especially if you ever have to measure long distances. It allows you to get a fast, accurate read and perform precise calculations. Unlike manual tape measures, the laser line is always straight, improving accuracy even more.

How Accurate Are Lasers Under Water?

One of the benefits of using laser measuring tools is that they can be used in a variety of environments. They can even produce accurate underwater measurements. If you use lasers in scuba surveying or other similar applications, consider a laser tool with blue-green beams from Engineer Supply.

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