Lidar technology is almost everywhere in our geospatial activities. It is the actual disruptive technology able to break existing barriers of applications and going beyond to generate new  solutions along the New Normal we are creating.

You know that Lidar was implemented by the Aerospace Industry already in the ’60. Highly Expensive… and for long time the size of hardware components and their high costs for manufacturing have limited possible commercial applications. Today, it is possible to manufacture all sensor components at microchip level. And there we are! Lidar suitable for drones, driverless cars and smart phones. Actually, we can state that thanks to Lidar the autonomous vehicle industry became possible.

Lidar is based on waves and on a very simple principle:

  1. A transmitter sends a laser beam to the target object
  2. The target object reflects the transmitted light
  3. The reflected photons are measured back by a receiver
  4. The time taken between transmitting and receiving is used to measure distances.

It sounds similar to radar or sonar but lidar uses light instead of radio/sound waves. Therefore, the smaller frequency permits to detect smaller objects.

Either expensive or cheaper, all Lidar systems have a similar outcome: a cloud of points representing in 3 dimensions the captured environment.

Additionally extra sophisticated Lidar devices can measure the intensity as well as attributes and parameters of those reflected signals. IMU, Inertial Measuring Units, take care of measuring angles and GNSS, Global Navigation Satellite System, can define the geospatial location. Of course the specifications of the Lidar device and its HW/SW components would challenge the characterization and the accuracy of the results. Can you imagine to do the surveying of a city using an iPhone?

The spectrum of light measured by Lidar is pretty broad. It uses infrared, visible and ultraviolet light to scan entities. Therefore, it can detect a broad range of materials: metals, stones, chemical substances, rain and more. Thanks to sensors’ fusion even the speed of moving objects.

And all that make Lidar really disruptive. Imagine….

  • To apply it in mapping and surveying from a drone aerial view.
  • Use it with a drone to  evaluate an agricultural field and highlight which areas need more attention.
  • Again with a drone combined with a ground mobile device to evaluate forestry, trees  and biodiversity.
  • In a driverless vehicles to allow new frontiers of mobility.
  • In photography to capture images in low-light surroundings.
  • … measuring small objects, classification, interpretation, security…. just name it.

Let me share this article that simply explain the background behind that.

Enjoy it !


if you want to evaluate the application and see how to enhance your market services to improve your business capabilities with Lidar,  reserve your free call at  “Talking to Experts”