LiDAR sensors are able to achieve a range accuracy of 0.5 to 10mm relative to the sensor and a mapping accuracy of up to 1 cm horizontal. These tolerances are represented as fractions of error percentages – in layman’s terms – extremely small and almost insignificant. Simply put, LiDAR is the most accurate measurement system available on the commercial market.
How Does LiDAR Work?
LiDAR works by emitting a laser pulse and measuring the time it takes for the pulse to bounce back from the target. Since the speed of light is a universal constant (it doesn’t change), LiDAR can depend on lasers to calculate distance with a high degree of precision. LiDAR systems may also have a rotating mirror that allows them to scan a 360 degree field of view, creating a detailed 3D map of the surroundings. In combination with these features, LiDAR systems use advanced algorithms to filter out noise, improving the accuracy of measurements.
What Can LiDAR Be Used For?
Lidar can be used for a wide range of applications, including construction, self-driving cars, aerial mapping, and meteorology. Any problem that involves scanning and measuring the environment around you can be solved through the application of LiDAR technology. Below we will cover each use case in detail.
LiDAR For Construction and Renovation
Lidar is used in construction to create detailed, accurate 3D models of a construction site. Being able to accurately scan and map environments is useful for planning as well as monitoring progress on site. For example, uploading a LiDAR site scan into CAD would allow you to build out and visualize your plans in an accurate 3D model. Additionally, in home renovation, LiDAR scans can be used for quick estimates and to visualize remodels. Say you had a bathroom and you wanted to replace the sink and shower. By scanning the room, you would have the ability to create 3D plans of the remodel with extreme accuracy. These tools are being implemented at an increasing pace by new construction and renovation teams as they drastically cut planning periods and remove inconsistency associated with traditional measuring methods.
Self Driving Cars
In self-driving cars, LiDAR is used to create a detailed 3D map of the surrounding environment. This map is then used to guide the car’s movements and help it avoid collisions. Tesla, for example, uses LiDAR in its self-driving technology. Paired alongside complex algorithms, LiDARis an essential technology for self-driving cars. Allowing them to quickly and accurately perceive its environment and make decisions about how to navigate it.
Aerial Mapping and Meteorology
In aerial mapping, lidar is used to create high-resolution maps of the ground surface. Aerial lidar systems are mounted on aircraft. Utilizing a rotating mirror that scans a 306-degree view to collect data from multiple directions. The data is then processed to create a detailed map of the ground surface, including buildings, roads, and vegetation. Additionally, the same aerial-mounted LiDAR systems can be used to calculate the speed and direction of the wind, as well as the temperature and density of the air. This information is particularly useful in helping meteorologists understand the behavior of the atmosphere and to make more accurate weather forecasts.
LiDAR is an extremely advanced scanning and mapping technology that allows users to create highly accurate models. The applications for this technology span from construction to self-driving cars and meteorology. In each of these applications, LiDAR’s ability to quickly and accurately scan and measure the environment makes it an essential tool for planning and decision-making.