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(a) Experimental ranging setup. A target obstructed by flames (depicted is an acetylene flame) is scanned with a FMCW LADAR. The target is placed ∼0.5  m behind this wall of flames. The total stand-off is 2 m. Range measurements are taken continuously at a 1-kHz update rate. A fast-steering mirror (FSM) sweeps the beam across the target, and the resulting 3D point cloud is then transformed to obtain Cartesian 𝑥𝑦𝑧 points. (b) 𝑥𝑦𝑧 3D point clouds. Left panel, machined aluminum step-block. Right panel, video (see Visualization 1) of a piece of chocolate, showing the deformation due to the flame heat (the frame rate is accelerated 60× to 1 Hz).

Laser ranging can see 3D objects melting in fires

Using Laser detection and ranging (LADAR) system, scientists at the NIST have imaged three-dimensional (3D) objects melting in flames. Doing this, they got a precise, safe and...