LASER SCANNER TECHNOLOGY
Technical Report MS-CIS-99-16
Elli Angelopoulou and John R. Wright, Jr.
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6228
June 28, 1999
This paper addresses the basic principles, performance measures and applications associated with laser
scanner technologies. The objective of this report is to communicate and disseminate pertinent information
related to state-of-the-art laser measurement systems that are currently available through commercial and
research means. This paper should serve two-fold: (1) as a basic tutorial to laser scanning technology and
(2) as a guide to current manufacturers and researchers of this technology.
1.1.1 Generation of light
An atom is composed of a nucleus, which contains protons, and electrons that are orbiting that nucleus (think of
a microscopic solar system). The orbiting electrons can occupy only certain orbits. When energy is added to an
atom, electrons jump to a new orbit farther away from the nucleus. The number and choice of electrons that