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New imaging gives close-up look at gas pipeline corridors

During late spring 2011, two small airplanes flew dozens of sorties over key transportation corridors bisecting Alaska.

In the back of each plane, a technician released millions of laser pulses from the planes' bellies, pelting the ground and capturing the pulses' echoes.

The entire mission involved a relatively new technology called lidar. It was part of a multiagency effort to understand, map and put into the public realm the precise landscape a North Slope natural gas pipeline would cross.

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