The detection and range of Lidar light is a remote sensing method used to examine the Earth's surface. Lidar data collected with NOAA reconnaissance aircraft reveals a lateral and top-down view of the Loggerhead Key lighthouse in Dry Tortugas, Florida. Lidar means detection and range of light, and it's been around for a while. It uses lasers to detect objects and return them to the laser source, measuring the distance by timing the journey or flight of the light pulse.
The areas of application of LiDAR are deep and varied. In the atmospheric sciences, LiDAR has been used for the detection of many types of atmospheric components. It has been used to characterize aerosols in the atmosphere, to investigate winds from the upper atmosphere, to profile clouds, to help collect weather data, and many other applications. In astronomy, LiDAR has been used to measure distances, both for distant objects such as the moon and for very close objects.
In fact, LiDAR is a crucial device for improving the measurement of the distance to the moon with millimeter precision. LIDAR has also been used to create guide stars for astronomical applications. Since then, Lidar technology has greatly expanded its capacity and LIDAR systems are used to perform a series of measurements that include profiling clouds, measuring winds, studying aerosols and quantifying various atmospheric components. 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.
For example, LIDAR altimeters look down, an atmospheric LIDAR looks up, and LIDAR-based collision avoidance systems look sideways. There is a wide variety of LIDAR applications, in addition to the applications listed below, as is often mentioned in national LIDAR data set programs. 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). 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.
Nowadays, LiDAR is frequently used to create a three-dimensional model of the world surrounding the LiDAR sensor. The ground reflection of an aerial LIDAR provides a measure of surface reflectivity (assuming that atmospheric transmittance is well known) at the wavelength of the LIDAR; however, ground reflection is commonly used to perform atmospheric absorption measurements.