Unlocking the Potential of LIDAR UAV Data: A Comprehensive Guide

LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, is a technology that uses lasers to measure distances and create three-dimensional information about a specific area. It is widely used in civil engineering, roadworks, and mining industries, and is becoming increasingly popular in other sectors as well. LiDAR drones are any drone manufactured to carry a LiDAR sensor, and they are used to collect data that can be used to create detailed 3D models. However, it is important to remember that the data collected by the drone must be processed and analyzed correctly in order to create accurate maps and models. If the data is not processed correctly, inaccuracies in the final results can occur.

This is why it is essential to understand how LIDAR mapping works and how to use it properly. The best LiDAR drone for building inspection may not be the best for planning irrigation, so it's important to know the intended use case before purchasing the LiDAR sensor. The LiDAR sensor detects targets with a range of up to 215 meters and has a light weight of 75 grams, making it a fantastic and lightweight LiDAR sensor that will work with several drones. Advances in the technology used to integrate drones with LiDAR data have led to a rapid increase in the number of companies using drones equipped with LiDAR as a comprehensive, full-scale 3D mapping system.

In this article, we will analyze the different ways in which LiDAR is currently used and we will also analyze the best LiDAR sensors for drones that currently exist on the market.

LiDAR Point Density

The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) recommends certain LiDAR point densities for terrain mapping with LiDAR. The following table shows these recommended densities:
Application Point Density (Points/m2)
Terrain Mapping 2-4
Urban Mapping 4-8
Highway Design >8

Relative Accuracy of LiDAR

The relative accuracy of LiDAR refers to the internal quality of LiDAR elevation data without using inspected ground control points. For example, the accuracy requirements of LiDAR data for the detailed design of infrastructure, such as a dam, may be higher compared to LiDAR data for agriculture.

Choosing the Right Drone and Sensor Combination

With LiDAR drones, the drone itself, the LiDAR sensor and the integration between the two are equally important. Different combinations of LiDAR sensors and drone models and designs will produce different types of results and, in some cases, LiDAR is not the best method for 3D modeling.

However, while there are all-in-one drones and full-service LiDAR packages, the best investment for hobbyists, enthusiasts, or even smaller companies is a high-quality LiDAR sensor.


LIDAR technology has revolutionized many industries by providing accurate three-dimensional information about a specific area. Take-Off Professionals data specialists have extensive experience working with LIDAR technology and understand how LIDAR mapping works and how to use it. As mentioned above, LiDAR drones and their associated sensors can save millions of dollars in several different sectors, so since the cost of entry continues to plummet, it is almost certain that LiDAR drone technology will continue to be implemented in several sectors.

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