Automotive manufacturers are looking at technologies that include radar and lidar to make such measurements, and could have the systems on the market within two or three years.
With the combination of GPS and inertial systems, and the use of a lidar (light detection and ranging) system, the plane's exact recording position and precise topographical data on the earth's surface can be ascertained.
The pulse energies in the solid-state laser can be higher since these lasers store energy longer and more efficiently than fiber lasers, and this higher power improves the performance of lidar and remote-sensing systems.
This system for detecting objects by sending out radio waves which are reflected back was developed in the 1930s. The name comes from the opening letters of radio detection and ranging, and was coined in 1941. Police started using radar traps to detect speeding motorists in the early 1960s. In the Second World War the myth that pilots ate lots of carrots to help them see in the dark was spread to explain how they could detect enemy planes, as radar was still a secret. Other words have been coined on the pattern of radar, such as lidar (mid 20th century), which works like radar, but uses light from lasers (mid 20th century)—laser itself being an acronym from ‘light amplification by the stimulatedemission of radiation’.