Before deciding on the best rangefinder to apply in a given task. It is important for one to understand the fundamentals of the different types. A laser rangefinder is a machine that measures the distance from one point to the other by use of an infrared laser beam. The making of this device is such that the time taken to send the beam from the transmitter at the source to the receiver at the destination point is determined. The working of this device is illustrated below.
Before the emergence of the laser rangefinders, inferior optical rangefinders were used, and one of the biggest disadvantages is that their accuracy varied with the distance being measured. Unlike the laser one, their accuracy was not consistent. Regardless of how cheap a laser device is, it’s capable of far better performance as compared with any other optical rangefinder. This does not mean that they are very complicated to handle, they employ simple concepts to achieve higher auto focus capabilities.
So how does it work? A laser rangefinder is very similar to an auto focus camera which projects an invisible infrared laser beam onto the subject. On hitting the subject, the beam is reflected back to the camera and is detected by the sensor in the camera. Time taken by the beam is determined and the distance between the camera and the camera calculated. Using this distance, the motors that control the camera lens are instructed by a computer chip to focus the subject at that distance thereby giving a very clear view of the subject.Does that sound cumbersome? Initially, this was slow and clumsy but with advancement in technology, the today’s device is high-speed and efficient.
Just as the autofocus camera, the laser rangefinder applies the same principle with differences only being the design of the two devices. A rangefinder does not have a motor and lens. Once again, an invisible infrared laser beam is projected from the instrument to the target object, and upon hitting it, the beam reflects back to the source. The rangefinder incorporates a computer chip in its making which translated the time taken by the beam into a distance. The speed of this infrared ray is same as that of light, 3.0×108m/s, so the whole process of determining distance is done in a matter of seconds, its lightning fast.
This technology is very accurate, and the error can be in the range of just a plus or minus one yard per meter or even less. This accuracy is acceptable in a huge range of applications, but with advancements, more sophisticated laser rangefinders are already in existence. Different models will have a difference in the range and their power capabilities. The sensors used in the making of the device determine its range. A sensor that is capable of detecting lower light as well as filtering out false information (noise) from the signal can handle greater ranges as compared with those that cannot filter the noise. If you are to target on smaller objects, then the steadiness and range of your laser rangefinder ought to be well refined.