We report examples of the use of a scanning tunable CO<sub>2</sub> laser lidar system in the 9–11-μm region to construct images of vegetation and rocks at ranges as far as 5 km from the instrument. Range information is combined with horizontal and vertical distances to yield an image with three spatial dimensions simultaneous with the classification of target type. Object classification is based on reflectance spectra, which are sufficiently distinct to allow discrimination between several tree species, between trees and scrub vegetation, and between natural and artificial targets. Limitations imposed by laser speckle noise are discussed.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
Bernard R. Foy, Brian D. McVey, Roger R. Petrin, Joe J. Tiee, and Carl W. Wilson, "Remote Mapping of Vegetation and Geological Features by Lidar in the 9–11-μm Region," Appl. Opt. 40, 4344-4352 (2001)