Lightweight LiDAR in UAVs is a technology that relies on drones to capture data. In the most ideal conditions, it is possible to cover up to 387 hectares (Ha) per day. However, in the most typical cases, the average coverage is closer to 100 Ha per day. Factors such as access and lines of sight are the main decisive elements when it comes to the area that can be covered.
Under denser vegetation, LiDAR can provide more detail than photogrammetry. Both photogrammetry and LiDAR can generate terrain models under sparse vegetation, where the ground is partially visible from the air. A WingtraOne UAV equipped with a LiDAR sensor can create accurate 3D models with a vertical accuracy of 2 to 3 cm (0.8 to 1.2 inches). 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 a vertical accuracy greater than 2 cm without terrestrial control points. When it comes to classic airborne LiDAR, it can cover up to 1000 km2 (400 miles).
On the other hand, if you work with photogrammetry and lightweight LiDAR in UAVs, you can expect to cover up to 10 km2 (4 miles) per flight. The cost of LiDAR mapping remains difficult to estimate due to its affordability when integrated into commercial drones. In order to maximize the area that can be covered by a LiDAR UAV in one flight, it is important to consider the factors that affect coverage. Accessibility and lines of sight are two of the most important factors that need to be taken into account when planning a flight. Additionally, the type of vegetation and terrain should also be taken into consideration when determining how much area can be covered in one flight. The use of lightweight LiDAR in UAVs has revolutionized the way data is collected and analyzed.
With this technology, it is possible to cover large areas quickly and accurately. The cost of LiDAR mapping has also been reduced significantly due to its integration into commercial drones. By taking into account factors such as access and lines of sight, it is possible to maximize the area that can be covered by a LiDAR UAV in one flight.