LiDAR systems can fire around 1,000,000 pulses per second. Each of these measurements, or returns, can then be processed into a 3D visualization known as a ‘point cloud’.
*The velocity, or speed of light is 299,792,458 metres per second
Environmental applications also benefit from LiDAR – laser scanning is a popular method of mapping flood risk, carbon stocks in forestry and monitoring coastal erosion.
LiDAR is also seeing increased levels of adoption for automation applications. Many automotive manufacturers are using smaller, lower range LiDAR scanners to help navigate autonomous vehicles.
LiDAR mapping uses a laser scanning system with an integrated Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and GNSS receiver which allows each measurement, or point in the resulting point cloud, to be georeferenced. Each ‘point’ combines to create a 3D representation of the target object or area.
LiDAR maps can be used to give positional accuracy – both absolute and relative, to allow viewers of the data to know where in the world the data was collected and how each point relates to objects terms of distance.
LiDAR data, in the form or a point cloud, can be used to map entire cities, enabling decision makers to accurately pinpoint structures or areas of interest in millimetre perfect detail. Features and objects such as road networks, bridges, street furniture and vegetation can be classified and extracted.
LiDAR maps can also be used to highlight changes and abnormalities such as surface degradation, slope changes and vegetation growth.