This paper presents a non-intrusive, non-contact object distance mapping sensor using an Electronically Controlled Variable Focus Lens (ECVFL). The proposed sensor is a free-space-based optical sensor that uses ECVFL-based agile optics to direct light from a object that requires terrain height mapping. The presented compact design makes the proposed sensor ideal for use in environments where laser illuminated objects are in a hazardous environment such as in environments with radiation, heat, cold, harmful machine parts, etc. The proposed design uses a few optical components and smart detection optics for making its object distance/terrain measurements. The presented sensor can find potential remote sensing applications in ground and space vehicle maneuvering, machine parts inspection and in chemical, transportation and aerospace industries.