LIDAR technology has applications in geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, seismology, forestry, remote sensing and atmospheric physics, as well as in airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM), laser altimetry and LIDAR contour mapping. As another example, the optical sensing system 10 may be configured as a laser detection and ranging (LADAR) system. A LADAR system uses laser beams to scan and process the signals echoed from targets, to create a virtual picture of the area. In other words, the optical sensing system 10 is applicable to standoff sensing.