A laser rangefinder is a measuring device that uses a laser to determine the distance to an object from the range device. The best laser rangefinder shoots a narrow laser beam and it calculates by how long the laser took after it bounced up from the object. A rangefinder uses the principle of the speed of light to provide real-time measurements. But due to the speed of light, this instrument cannot be used to test low range measurement such as sub millimeters, this means it cannot be used in certain calculations and triangulation. The precision is highly determined by the speed of the receiver, those that use sharp laser pulses and are fitted with a good receiver can be v used to detect even objects that are millimeters away from the rangefinder.
Despite the laser pulses being narrow, errors can come about from divergence, the air contains air bubbles that refract the laser beam causing it to diverge, this can cause an error when comes to recording correct measurements. The laser pulse may also bounce off objects such as leaves making the device to read a wrong measurement of the intended object, this is called an early return as the laser beam bounced off prematurely from the wrong object. Sometimes in high heat, objects that are rather far away can be lost in a mirage, the mirage can bend the laser light rendering the laser rangefinder useless since the laser light does not bounce back. All these effects have to be taken into account when taking measurements using the laser range finder for hunting.
The laser rangefinder uses a range of technologies and principles in order to provide us with accurate measurements: multiple frequency phase shift is used when a lot if multiple frequencies are fired towards an object and all bounce back and are captured by the receiver, a simultaneous equation is then used to give a final measure. Time of flight is the time taken by the laser light from its origin, to the object, bouncing back and hitting the receiver, the speed of light which is known is used to calculate the distance and thus give accurate distances up to millimeters. Interferometry is a technique that causes interference in the reflected laser pulses, this interference is used to extract information that is very accurate and precise.
The laser rangefinder can be used in the military by a sniper to view objects from point-blank range, they can be used for reconnaissance and gathering enemy information. A laser rangefinder can be used in 3D object drawing and modeling. This technology forms the basis of most 3D scanners. A number of algorithms have been merged to provide digital information used in 3D modeling. In sports, laser rangefinders are used in precision measuring of certain sports like golf, hunting, and archery. The laser rangefinder can be used as an alternative of tape measures, laser measuring tools are what they are properly referred to.
Most laser rangefinders are practically safe and don’t emit any harmful radiation. It’s not advisable though to point the laser emitter do the naked eye as it can damage or burn your eye.