Standard Article

Lidar (Laser Radar)

  1. P. S. Argall,
  2. R. J. Sica

Published Online: 15 OCT 2004

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap629

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Argall, P. S. and Sica, R. J. 2004. Lidar (Laser Radar). Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. .

Author Information

  1. The University of Western Ontario, Department of Physics and Astronomy, London, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 OCT 2004


Lidar is an active remote sensing technique similar in principle to radar, except that it utilizes light rather than radio waves. Lidar finds applications in many areas, including atmospheric and oceanic research, digital mapping, chemical and biological agent detection, speed measurement, and targeting. This chapter describes the principles of lidar and provides examples of the application of lidar in measuring the properties of the Earth's atmosphere.


  • lidar;
  • laser–radar;
  • laser;
  • atmospheric optics;
  • Rayleigh;
  • aerosol;
  • DIAL;
  • Raman