Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with LiDAR sensors are revolutionizing the way data is collected and analyzed. LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses lasers to scan the ground and measure varying distances. This produces an extensive set of elevation data that can be used to generate high-resolution maps and 3D models of both natural and man-made objects. LiDAR drones are especially beneficial for mapping the exact contours of structures, both new and old.
Archaeologists, for instance, can use UAVs to obtain a precise picture of the size and relative location of all the relevant features of a terrain, as well as any human-made remains. LiDAR drones can also be used to create 3D models down to the smallest detail, allowing users to identify features, structures or areas of interest in perfect clarity. This type of data can be utilized for a variety of purposes, from law enforcement to robotics, military and conservation. The integration of LiDAR sensors in commercial drones makes LiDAR mapping more affordable than ever before.
However, the cost remains difficult to estimate due to the wide range of applications available. 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. LiDAR and high-resolution images are complementary technologies that can be used together to capture data with greater accuracy. By combining these two technologies, users can gain a better understanding of their environment and unlock new market opportunities.