Laser/LIDAR Instruments

In the clouds, in the air, in space, on the ground 

 3D, real-time 

LIDAR/LADAR laser remote sensing technology works best when you don’t have to wait for the data. Our LIDAR data is available in real-time and we’re developing LIDAR technology for new science, tactical and commercial applications. 

Atmospheric science LIDARS 

Our LIDAR technology has been used on heritage programs like CALIPSO and now on new technologies that enable new scientific discoveries.

Ever wondered how clouds, winds and aerosols interact? We’re helping to find out by extending the LIDAR tech we’ve been developing since 2002. Our Optical Autocovariance Wind LIDAR (OAWL) has flown on NASA-sponsored test flights to push the system closer to a space-based mission. A current NASA-funded R& D contract is helping us build on those capabilities by providing simultaneous measurement of winds and aerosol properties. 

The High-spectral Resolution LIDAR for Aerosols Winds and Clouds using OAWL (HAWC-OAWL) measures two different components of vector wind fields by using two lasers and two telescopes pointing  in two directions at the same time. The system is designed to fly on NASA aircraft to provide NASA scientists with wind and aerosol data to study the impacts of aerosol (including pollution, dust, and smoke transport), on the Earth's energy and water cycles, air quality and climate.  

Seeing new light

Another new LIDAR technology we’re working on has the potential to vastly improve the quality and quantity of data from Earth science satellites that look at clouds, water and the atmosphere. Called LOAMS (LIDAR Orbital Angular Momentum Sensor), it will be a new LIDAR system that will see the unique angular momentum effects of light beams as they hit and interact with particles and molecules in the atmosphere. LOAMS is funded through a NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) grant and the NASA Earth Science Technology Office. 

Ball Aerospace

Tactical Lasercom/LIDAR

Game-changing technology

When you want to see exactly what’s going on in a battlespace or enemy area, we provide real-time 3D Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems for tactical military and intelligence/surveillance missions. Our TotalSight Flash LIDAR gives you data in real-time. No more waiting in the dark.

You enjoy a full-motion 3-D imaging system that gives you “total sight” of the operational area of regard. Because our systems fuse and downlink multi-spectral video in real time with 3-D LIDAR data, you get unsurpassed informational awareness. Any of our systems can be tailored to satisfy a wide range of mission objectives and customized for a variety of platforms.

TotalSight Flash LIDAR

Our 3-D Flash Lidar can deliver real-time data for situational awareness, disaster response, battlefield characterization and more.

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    Total Sight Flash Lidar
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    ES Flash Lidar Civil

Total Awareness

  • Real-time 3-D imagery to easily manipulate and share on the move 
  • The ability to “see over the next hill” in real time, with true geolocation precision and easily manipulated images — a game changer for operational forces 
  • Increased situational awareness for mission planning and execution 
  • Day/night fused 3-D imagery for hazard detection, identification and avoidance for helicopter flight support, precision tactical analysis and damage assessment
  • Data rates compatible with existing RF downlinks
 Our TotalSight™ Flash LIDAR has flown on both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, and can also be flown on unmanned aerial vehicles. Our non-conventional imaging techniques used for active remote sensing push the boundaries of performance.


The Ball LIDAR payload for the ScanEagle® UAV fuses context camera imagery with LIDAR array imagery at up to 20 frames per second for high point density and image resolution.

Ball’s real-time, full-motion color Flash 3D LIDAR (Laser Imaging, Detection and Ranging) imaging system, provides warfighters and first responders critical geolocation information that can be easily viewed, analyzed and shared while on the move.

Tracking methane leaks

By leveraging over 50 years of remote sensing expertise for NASA, NOAA, DoD and commercial companies, Ball's Methane Monitor uses laser-illumination remote-sensing techniques to identify methane emissions on the ground from a fixed-wing aircraft. It's a lower cost, real-time, precise method of monitoring leaks that notifies facility operators immediately of large emission sources and provides full reports within hours of the end of the flight.
  • Active sensing with lasers: immune to solar intensity and background temperature with real time results
  • Plume imaging: 300 meter wide swaths and swath-to-swath image stitching show the plume shape a allow ready identification of the source
  • Fixed-wing aircraft: 3,300 ft. above ground at 126 mph air speed can survey 150-200 square miles per day

Methane Monitoring Capabilities

Click here to see Ball's Methane Monitoring capabilities.

Contact Us

Get more details on our science, tactical and commercial laser imaging capabilities.