Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a type of distant sensing that uses a laser beam to determine how far away things are and other things about them.
Since it was first made, scientists have used LiDAR to map the Earth’s surface and collect weather data.
Even though the technology can be expensive and hard to use at times, it pays off very well in the mapping business.
On the other hand, technology gets easier to use over time. As the price of LiDAR cameras has gone down, they are being added to more and more consumer devices, like driving cars, virtual reality technology, smartphones, and even vacuum cleaners.
How Does LiDAR Work?
Samples can be taken with the help of LiDAR. In other words, it always sends out more than 160,000 pulses per second.
From one meter away, each pixel gets about 15 pulses per second. This is why LiDAR point clouds make millions of points.
Since a base manages them, LiDAR systems are very accurate. Normal is a horizontal accuracy of only 40 cm and a vertical accuracy of only 15 cm.
LiDAR devices scan the ground in all directions while an airplane is in the air.
Most pulses go straight to the nadir, but some may show up right below it. This is why LiDAR systems consider the slope when figuring out height.
Usually, the width of a slice for a straight LiDAR device is 3,300 feet. On the other hand, Geiger LiDAR can scan up to 16,000 feet wide.
Compared to regular LiDAR, this version can scan over much larger areas.
Benefits Of LiDAR
The great accuracy and precision of LiDAR data are one of the best things about using it for geographic research.
LiDAR data can show a lot of information about things like plants, buildings, roads, and bodies of water, to name a few.
LiDAR data can get through when other remote sensing methods, like optical photography or radar, can’t see the environment because of cloud cover, fog, or treetops.
The results of a landscape study done with LiDAR data have been shown to be more reliable and accurate because they are accurate to within a few meters vertically and within a few centimeters horizontally.
Using LiDAR data for geographic study has the added benefit that it is easy to get and complete.
LiDAR data can be collected from platforms in the air or space because they can quickly and cheaply cover big areas.
LiDAR data is available from a wide range of sources, such as government agencies, study institutions, and private businesses, and it can be used in a variety of ways and places.
LiDAR data may help with terrain research at different scales and locations to better understand the ground in space and time.
LiDAR gets a lot more information about the surface than other ways of collecting data, like photogrammetry. This gives better results in certain situations, like figuring out flood areas.
LiDAR’s Areas Of Use
- LiDAR technology, which has high penetrating power and can therefore get elevation data from heavily crowded trees, can be used to find out how high things are. This means that it can map places where there are a lot of trees.
- LiDAR can be used both during the day and at night because it has an active light sensor. It doesn’t care if it’s dark or light outside. As a result, the way it works has gotten better.
- LiDAR devices are not affected by things like curved scenery like they are by other data collection methods.
- Because LiDAR technology is so flexible, it can be easily connected to many different data sources. This makes it easier for computers to analyze complex information.
- Unlike photogrammetry and mapping, LiDAR technology doesn’t need much or any help from people because so much of it is automatic. The time savings are especially obvious during the processes of collecting data and analyzing it.
- LiDAR technology is not affected much by strong weather, such as direct sunlight. This means that even if it rains, data can still be gathered and sent to be analyzed.
- LiDAR technology could be used to map empty, featureless places like high slopes and areas with a lot of snow.
- LiDAR technology is a cheaper option than traditional remote sensing methods when it comes to large areas of land. This is because it works quickly and accurately.
LiDAR is truly a game changer. With multiple applications in the field and at a low cost, this can be useful everywhere.
What once was thought to be impossible is now being done by LiDAR. With mobile phones using LiDAR technology, one can only imagine where else we will see it being used.