What can lidar sensor do?

Lidar sensors are a key component of autonomous vehicles, as they provide a high-resolution 3D view of their environment. Lidar allows autonomous vehicles to “see” by generating and measuring millions of data points in real time, creating an accurate map of their constantly changing environment for safe navigation. Lidar can be used to join objects and rooms in 3D and superimpose photographic images on top, a technique called photogrammetry. That could be the next wave of capture technology for practical uses such as home improvement or even social media and journalism.

The ability to capture 3D data and share that information with others could turn these LIDAR-equipped phones and tablets into 3D content capture tools. The Lidar could also be used without the camera element to obtain measurements of objects and spaces. LiDAR is an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging. In LiDAR, laser light is sent from a source (transmitter) and is reflected from objects in the scene.

The system receiver detects reflected light and the time of flight (TOF) is used to develop a distance map of the objects in the scene. The UAV LiDAR has been one of the most anticipated technologies of the last 10 years, as it has changed the way surveyors capture data and has significantly reduced costs. In addition, topographic LiDAR uses a near-infrared laser to map terrain and buildings, and bathymetric LiDAR uses green light that penetrates water to map the seabed and riverbeds. Unlike mobile and static LiDAR systems that are installed in fixed structures, such as tripods, this type of LiDAR is prevalent in archaeology, topography, mining and engineering.

Nowadays, LiDAR is frequently used to create a three-dimensional model of the world surrounding the LiDAR sensor. The DIAL (Differential Absorption LiDAR) is used to identify particular forms of gas in the atmosphere, while the LiDAR Raman measures concentration and the LiDAR Doppler measures wind speed. Virtually all manufacturers seeking autonomous driving consider LiDAR to be a key enabling technology, and some LiDAR systems are now available for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Topographic LIDAR usually uses a near-infrared laser to map the land, while bathymetric LIDAR uses green light that penetrates the water to also measure the elevations of the seabed and riverbeds.

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