Light Detection and Range (LiDAR) sensors use light energy, emitted by a laser, to scan the ground and measure varying distances. The end result is an extensive set of elevation data that can be used to produce high-resolution maps and 3D models of natural and artificial objects. LiDAR drones are any drone manufactured to carry a LiDAR sensor. They are used to collect data that can be used to create detailed 3D models for a variety of applications and industries.
Agriculture is one of the main areas where LiDAR drones are being used. With the help of these unmanned aerial vehicles, farmers can build dams in their rice fields and measure crop progress more accurately. Additionally, LiDAR technology is also being used in archaeological sites, allowing researchers to map them faster and more efficiently than with ground-based scanning and mapping methods. Utility operators have also benefited from the availability of affordable LiDAR systems for unmanned aerial vehicles. These systems allow them to carry out aerial inspections of small infrastructure components, such as power lines.
Moreover, with the increasing availability of LiDAR drones, technology buyers can now compare hardware options to find the perfect UAV and sensor load for their purposes. In this article we will explore what LiDAR is used for in drones as well as analyze different ways it is currently being used. We will also look at the best LiDAR sensors for drones that currently exist on the market. These advances, together with advances in the technology used to integrate drones with LiDAR data, have led to a rapid increase in the number of companies using drones equipped with LiDAR as a comprehensive full-scale 3D mapping system. With LiDAR drones, the drone itself, the LiDAR sensor and the integration between the two are equally important. As the costs and weight of LiDAR decrease, more companies may be encouraged to adopt this technology.