LIDAR – Light Detection and Ranging, is a survey method which allows measuring points in the 3-dimensional space. It is a remote sensing method which can be used to examine the surface of the Earth.

It allows scientists and mapping professionals to scrutinize both natural and manmade environment precisely and accurately and with flexibility. LiDAR mapping, at times referred to as ‘3D laser scanning’ is commonly used as a technology to make high-resolution maps, with applications in geodesy/geomatics, with terrestrial, airborne & mobile mapping methods. LIDAR is being used by NOAA scientists to procure more accurate shoreline maps, make digital elevation models to be used in geographic information systems, to assist in emergency response operations, and in many other applications.

Mobile LIDAR is a leading mapping solution that embodies the most progressive LiDAR sensors, cameras and position/ navigation/ DGPS receivers to gather survey grade 3D point cloud data quickly and precisely.

The process where geospatial data is collected from a mobile vehicle, typically fitted with a LiDAR remote sensing systems is called Survey Grade Mobile LiDAR mapping. Such systems comprises of complete array of time synchronized navigation sensors (survey grade DGPS) and imaging sensors mounted on a mobile platform. The primary output derived after pre-processing from such systems include; geo-referenced 3D point cloud data, digital maps, images and videos. The total accuracy of the data which can be easily achieved is about +/- 2 .

Advantages of Using Mobile LiDAR as Compared to Conventional Total Stations

Field data can be attained quickly which gathers all required data point measurements in one pass, this terminates the need for and further mobilization costs.

A lot of time can be saved with the use Mobile LiDAR as it has the ability to collect up to 1 million points per second as compared to one point per minutes based on the traditional Total Station survey technology.

Mobile LiDAR allows capturing data quite effectively in certain sensitive areas or areas with extreme harsh climates.

The data attained provides total information about the site, precisely measuring the points and can locate features which are not easily accessible with other methods.

The data gathered through mobile LIDAR for one purpose can be re-used for another applications later on.

Videos can be generated through the Pictures and images collected to be used in decision making at the office level as it helps decision making without site visits.

Manpower needed to perform the task is comparatively less, which makes it an affordable method.

The whole process is automated and leaves very rare chance of human error.

The data obtained is accurate, depending on the GPS and is not compounding in nature.

The data can be collected remotely, without need for traffic diversion and is quite safe for project persons and general public.

Disadvantages of Lidar

LIDAR is not effective during heavy rains and low clouds because of refraction effects.

LiDAR technology cannot be applied well in areas or situations when there are high sun angles or huge reflections since the laser pulses depend on the principle of reflection.

Not reliable for water surface in case the surface isn’t smooth as it may not return accurate data.

Database gained from LIDAR is very big and needs too much analysis and interpretations.

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