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lasers, reflection by water surface


Well-known member
Jun 3, 2007
Encap ans steve001, thank you both for the suggestions and input. Laser safety and eye protection duly noted.

If cost was nearly a non-factor, which few products would you seek out for testing? I appreciate the low cost suggestions but I want to ensure that I'm not limiting your suggestions by cost.

The "spot" would need to be seen at a distance of up to 100' and in full sunlight. Also, the size of the spot reflected on the water surface can be as large as practically necessary. 3" to 3' would be perfectly acceptable.

As far as the angle of incidence is concerned, the source of the laser would be in close proximity to the viewer, within 1-10'. I have limited understanding/knowledge of angle of incidence as it pertains to optics but will educate myself on the concept today.

I was unable to get the altitude measurement using laser article to open; I'll give it a try from my computer later today.
Angle of incidence is not only aplicable to optics. This term applies to anything that hits a surface. For example: fire a gun at a hard surface at a 24 degree angle, the bullet when it hits and bounces off that surface will leave that surface at an angle of 24 degrees. It is a simple concept as you surely can see now with this one example.
Check Jet lasers. They offer lasers that can be run using a plug in power source.
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Vijay 143

New member
Dec 19, 2018
Thank you for the follow up. To keep it simple, let's confine it to Salt water/Ocean.

If anyone has input on other types of water environments, please feel free to elaborate.
I am currently working on a project to detect the depth of water using lasers. The depth varies from 500ft to 1000ft any suggestions on which laser would be apt that the reflected wave reaches the point of transmission.