Small Unmanned Helicopters Used Lasers To Map Littorals In Recent U.S. Navy Tests

War Zone – The U.S. Navy recently conducted successful flight tests of a UAV carrying an aerial laser system designed to map the ocean floor in shallow water areas. While details are scarce, we know that the tests used a Light Detection and Ranging, or LIDAR, system aboard a small unmanned helicopter. While such a system could be an important tool for making detailed topographic maps of waterways and littoral areas, there could be other potential applications of well beyond general cartographic ones.