What does lidar capture?

A LiDAR system calculates how long it takes for light beams to hit an object or surface and reflect back to the laser scanner. The distance is then calculated using the speed of light*. These measurements are known as “flight times”. 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. 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). 3D at Depth, a global provider of advanced subsea LiDAR solutions, has continued to validate the LiDAR market for the upstream oil and gas industry.

Nowadays, LiDAR is frequently used to create a three-dimensional model of the world surrounding the LiDAR sensor. 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. 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. With repeated pings, a LiDAR device can also learn how nearby objects move, their speed and if they are facing or in the opposite direction of the LiDAR device.

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