LiDAR Technology

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is an optical remote sensing technology that uses laser pulses to find range and/or other information of a distant target.  Like radar technology, the range to an object is determined by measuring the time delay between transmission of a pulse and detection of the reflected signal.

A basic airborne LiDAR system consists of an aircraft, laser scanner, a GPS and an IMU (inertial measurement unit).  As the laser scans the ground, the GPS tracks the location of the sensor and the IMU records the orientation of the aircraft.  When you combine all the data, the result is a 3D point cloud of the area.  From this cloud we can create extremely detailed and accurate topographic maps, digital terrain models (bare earth) and digital surface models including buildings, trees and other features.

Truly 3D: Unlike aerial photography which only provides a two dimensional product, LiDAR can provide a true three dimensional end product.

Unmatched Data Density: LiDAR allows us to collect millions ( 100,000+ pulses per second) of points in minutes.  Using these points we can accurately recreate tree canopies, bare earth, building locations and breaklines that traditional mapping methods cannot match.  These point densities allow us to create unparalleled topographic contours and higher resolution models. We typically produce a point density of greater than 8 points per square meter.

Multiple returns capture tree canopy, utility lines and ground layout. A single LiDAR laser pulse can have multiple returns (echoes) and each return represents a hit on an object.  The multiple returns allow us to capture the tree tops, intermediate vegetation and the ground.

Speed and Mobility: Airborne scanning allows us to scan and map terrain that is difficult to access and we can collect hundreds of acres per day.