LiDar has become one of the most popular geospatial data acquisition approaches, especially since the technologies that make this service possible have grown over the past handful of years. Application relevance, software and hardware used in LiDar have all grown recently and have helped to decrease cost and increase usability. The demand for LiDar services has grown incredibly of late, according to various studies on the topic.
Mobile LiDar, which is also known as mobile mapping, involves the collection of point data using a ground-based platform. Unlike the collection of terrestrial data, it includes collecting it using a moving platform. Typically, the sensors are mounted on a vehicle and the vehicle is then driven on a pre-determined route. This means that LiDar can be used on ATVs, trains and boats alongside motor vehicles.
“Mobile mapping is most often used in corridor applications, as opposed to wide-area collects. Many mobile projects are related to roadway, railway, airport, dams or riverine applications,” Mark E. Meade, PE, PLS, CP, the senior vice president of Quantum Spatial, said.
“The differences between terrestrial, mobile and airborne LiDAR generally fall into the broad categories of accuracy, point density, and project cost,” Meade continued. “The added value for improved horizontal and vertical accuracy should be obvious and these technologies generally span the range from a few millimeters to 10 centimeters.”
Meade mentioned that quite possibly the biggest advantage of LiDar mapping is the ability to collect incredibly accurate 3D models in a quick manner that is also cost-efficient.
LiDar is divided into different modes. This is done by looking at the lasers and sensors and how they operate when acquiring data. The most conventional type of LiDar, linear mode, uses individual pulses of light and then measures the returns that come back to figure out the position, intensity and elevation of each return. By sending out individual pulses of light, there can be more than one light pulse in the air at a time when using this mode.
Two other common modes are known as Geiger-mode and single photon mode. Both of these modes use a laser to measure the distance from a sensor to the ground and back again. These two modes send and receive returned energy differently from the linear mode.
“The technology leaders, Harris Corporation and Sigma Space, believe they can fly higher and faster above ground than is typical for linear mode,” Meade said. “The major promise is Geiger-mode and single photon generally allow collection of much larger areas at even higher densities within a single flight mission. Both are certainly interesting technologies that are still early in adoption.”
Drones have become a popular tool for using LiDar to capture data. Meade believes it is still economical to use manned flights when LiDar projects are being conducted instead of using drones.
Cadsourcing, located in New York on Park Avenue, can answer all of your questions about software, including LiDar and how the process has been updated of late. Call the office at 888-851-2047 to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable team member today.