The detection and range of light (LiDAR) is a remote sensing technology that utilizes lasers to measure the distance to a surface or detect objects. By measuring the time and intensity of the return pulses, readings of the terrain and points on the ground can be provided. A LiDAR drone is a drone that carries a LiDAR sensor for data collection. The LiDAR works by precisely measuring the distance from the drone to the ground.
As each pulse of light is emitted, the exact time when the light is triggered is recorded. As the light pulse is reflected, the scanner detects the return and re-sets the exact time when the light returned. The data collected by LIDAR-equipped drones can be used to create 3D models down to the smallest detail, allowing users to identify features, structures or areas of interest in perfect detail. Applications such as dam and water transport, infrastructure topography, landslide mapping, pipeline inspection and archaeological site topography have benefited from LiDAR for aerial vehicles, which has proven to be a better alternative to hazardous terrestrial topography or aerial LiDAR mapping.
In addition, higher-strength drones are now available, which will expand the type of applications for which LiDAR UAV can be used. For those responsible for construction, public services, surveys and research, it's worth investigating further the advantages of unmanned aerial vehicles that carry LiDAR. In the case of the LiDAR UAV, the number of points per square meter is high, since it flies lower and slower, compared to other aerial options, such as the helicopter or the airplane. The integration of LiDAR sensors in commercial drones makes LiDAR mapping more affordable.
Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) are particularly useful for a wide variety of forest management applications, since the LiDAR UAV visualizes both the forest and the ground. UAV LiDAR has multiple advantages compared to aerial and ground LiDAR, including greater safety, cost-effectiveness, speed of data collection, and higher data quality. As stated above, aerial LiDAR and UAV are used to create accurate 3D models in the form of DTM and DSM. Because the laser pulses emitted by a LiDAR system are reflected on objects both on and above the ground surface, LiDAR is a very useful technology for penetrating vegetation from the air and seeing the ground below.
This LiDAR integrates a LiDAR sensor and an RGB camera to simultaneously acquire point cloud data and visible light images, resulting in a high-density true color dot cloud with vertical accuracy greater than 2 cm without ground control points. The acquisition of LiDAR data from UAVs can be done in a timely, accurate and safe manner, and at a much lower cost than manned aircraft surveys. The fast response times for capturing data and providing high-resolution outputs mean that the LiDAR UAV now offers a cost-effective and viable alternative for terrestrial mapping and topography projects. With just a few years of collaboration between UAV technology and LIDAR technology, impossible topographic challenges are becoming increasingly simple tasks.
The LiDAR UAV offers great advantages in hazardous environments where you don't want to send people and for inspecting areas that are difficult or impossible to carry out by other means, including open pit mines, landslides or areas containing landmines. The potential of LiDAR UAV technology is immense. It offers an efficient way to collect data in hazardous environments without putting people at risk. It also provides an affordable way to collect high-resolution 3D models with greater accuracy than traditional methods.
With its ability to penetrate vegetation from above and its fast response times for capturing data, it's no wonder that this technology has become so popular in recent years. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with LiDAR sensors has revolutionized many industries due to its ability to provide accurate 3D models with greater accuracy than traditional methods at an affordable cost. The fast response times for capturing data make it an ideal solution for hazardous environments where people cannot go or areas that are difficult or impossible to access by other means. The potential applications are endless; from dam and water transport infrastructure topography to landslide mapping or pipeline inspection - all these tasks can be done quickly and safely with a LiDAR UAV.
The integration of this technology into commercial drones has made it more accessible than ever before; allowing users to take advantage of its many benefits without breaking their budget. With its ability to penetrate vegetation from above and its fast response times for capturing data - it's no wonder that this technology has become so popular in recent years.