LiDAR technology is a powerful tool for mapping public services, delimiting floodplains, and locating objects that may be hidden from view. But what exactly is LiDAR and how does it work? In this article, we'll explore the basics of LiDAR and answer the question: can LiDAR penetrate objects?LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. It uses laser pulses to measure distances between objects. The laser pulses are sent out from a device, usually mounted on an aircraft or vehicle, and then reflected back to the device.
The time it takes for the pulse to return is used to calculate the distance between the device and the object. The data collected by LiDAR is known as a point cloud. This point cloud contains information about the shape, size, and elevation of objects in the environment. It can be used to create detailed 3D maps of an area. So, can LiDAR penetrate objects? The answer is yes, but it depends on the type of object. For example, LiDAR can penetrate vegetation such as trees and shrubs, but it cannot penetrate solid objects such as buildings or mountains. Topographic LiDAR usually uses a near-infrared laser to map land surfaces.
This type of LiDAR can penetrate vegetation but not solid objects. Bathymetric LiDAR uses green light that penetrates water to measure elevations of seabeds and riverbeds. Therese Reinsch explains that when the LiDAR system collects data, all the points are not ranked as to what they are affecting. This means that some points may be blocked by solid objects or vegetation. If you're looking for free LiDAR data sources, here's a list of the top 6: USGS Earth Explorer, Open Topography, Open Lidar Data Initiative, NOAA Digital Coast, NASA EOSDIS Worldview, and OpenAerialMap. In conclusion, LiDAR is a powerful tool for mapping public services, delimiting floodplains, and locating objects that may be hidden from view. It can penetrate some objects such as vegetation but not solid objects such as buildings or mountains.
There are many free LiDAR data sources available online so you can start your search today.