Lasers are useful for a great many things, certainly up to and including being placed on the heads of irritable sea bass. For no reason whatsoever, this weekend will be the weekend of the laser here at Atomic Toasters, and we are going to start out by taking a look at a laser system that has proven to be quite useful indeed for those friendly fellows from down under. In the 1970s, the Royal Australian Navy noticed a lack of progress made in the surveying Australia’s territorial waters. There was much of the sea area that was was unsurveyed or simply old data from the age of sail, prompting the RAN to seek a method of effectively surveying large areas from the air. The Defence Science and Technology Organisation developed the LADS system, which stands for Laser Airborne Depth Sounder. The system began feasibility trials in is 1977, and although it was not operational until 1993, it is still flying today.