Spotting LiDAR Camera For Drones: A First Newcomer Guideline

LiDAR camera for drones is a sensor system installed in drone devices that functions to carry out detailed and precise measurements.

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. Although this technology is not only used for, most LiDAR cameras are for drones.

The basic idea of ​​the LiDAR camera for drones is to measure an object that is difficult for humans to reach physically.

Meanwhile, the idea of ​​LiDAR technology is to measure the distance by firing a laser at the object and then measuring the time of the reflection that returns.

By shooting this laser beam many times per second, you will get an accurate distance count. Thus, allowing you to get enough information to be able to identify the object.

The LiDAR quadcopter involves attaching a laser scanner to the UAV, which acts as an object meter. The LiDAR scanner can scan hundreds of square kilometres of objects in a single day.

Detailed and precise depiction capabilities come from the LiDAR camera for drones ability to measure from 10 to 80 dots per square meter.

The measurement accuracy of LiDAR for drones allows for the formation of 3D model projections. This model is then used as the basis for various types of design, planning, or decision-making processes in many sectors.

The UAV LiDAR sensor can also penetrate objects with a thick canopy of dense vegetation. Thus, the quadcopter can capture structures that cannot be seen by satellites.

For example, capturing soil structure and ground cover in great detail is a basis for forming certain vegetation categorizations or monitoring changes in vegetation density.

How Accurate Is LiDAR?

There are four main components of the LiDAR camera for drones. The four components are interrelated and form a system to produce highly accurate imaging. The four components are

  1. LiDAR Sensor: As the quadcopter moves, the sensor scans for objects on each side by emitting a signal.
  2. GPS Receiver: The GPS receiver tracks altitude, quadcopter location and calculates the path travelled. Calculating routes is a critical process to assess terrain and altitude accurately.
  3. Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU): As UAVs fly, the IMU tracks their tilt. The LiDAR system uses the tip to measure the angle of incidence of the signal accurately.
  4. Data recorder: When LiDAR scans a surface, the computer records all the signals that return. Then, this recording is translated into elevation.

With these four main components, the LiDAR camera for drones sends 160,000 signals per second. For every second, every 1 meter gets about 15 signal firing points. That’s why LiDAR dots generate millions of dots.

For this reason, the LiDAR quadcopter system is very accurate because it has some technologies that allow for the best results.

LiDAR Camera For Drones; Identification

LiDAR sensors utilize light energy emitted from a laser to scan objects and measure variations in their distance.

The final result of LiDAR is the drone LiDAR software output data. This output data contains a collection of elevation information that can be used as the basis for creating high-resolution maps or 3D models of an object.

LiDAR technology dates back to the 1960s. At that time, this technology was used by surveyors to produce topographic maps. In that year, the resulting map already had a high level of accuracy when scanning the landscape of an object.

lidar camera for drone

Use Of LiDAR Camera For Drones

LiDAR accurately measures various types of objects. For example, the vegetation and topography of the soil.

In addition, LiDAR can also be used as a 3D model to display the detailed structure of an object. The more good news about LiDAR drone survey cost is affordable. As an example, small industries can get high-tech and expensive LiDAR from LiDAR drone rental vendors. 

With its high capabilities, LiDAR can use for various types of a survey in many industries, such as:

  1. Energy. Survey and scanning of changes in ground elevation. Plus, how does it impact field assets such as substations, towers, and wind turbines.
  2. Insurance. LiDAR data can be used as material for personalized offers because the data is a basis for assessing risk factors during underwriting. For example, flood insurance and property insurance. 
  3. Governance. LiDAR cameras for drones can be used for various drone LiDAR services in the government sector, such as population, environment, natural resources, etc.
  4. Agriculture. LiDAR can identify altitude and display it on a map. Thus, policymakers can produce a better drainage system. In addition, LiDAR data can also be used to monitor drought levels and water use.
  5. Construction. LiDAR data can record construction information, such as completed buildings, soil structure information, and building structure planning.

What Are The Types Of LiDAR?

LiDAR is divided into three different classifications based on the size of the LiDAR footprint, wavelength, and positional alignment.

use lidar drone
Unsplash/ Jaromír Kavan
  • LiDAR Profiling

LiDAR profiling is a LiDAR system that was used in the 1980s. This system specializes in producing straight-line features such as power lines. LiDAR profiling sends individual signals in a single line. At a fixed nadir, it measures the height along a single transect.

  • Small Footprint LiDAR

Small footprint LiDAR is the most common type seen today. This LiDAR camera for drones has a scanning angle of about 20 degrees. When the scanning angle is more than 20 degrees, the LiDAR instrument cannot be straight down.

This type of LiDAR is easy to find because it is a kind of survey-grade LiDAR drone standard in many industries. In general, this best LiDAR is divided into two, namely:

  1. Topographic LiDAR: serves to map the soil. The sensor uses near-infrared light.
  2. LiDAR bathymetry: usually uses a green light capable of penetrating water. This type was commonly used to scan the seabed or riverbed.
  • Large footprint LiDAR

Large footprint LiDAR uses an entire waveform that has a footprint size of 20 meters. However, the accuracy of LiDAR is low because the firing of the signal can cover sloping terrain. NASA is known to use large footprint LiDAR for their activities.

  • Ground-based LiDAR

Ground-based LiDAR is positioned on a tripod to scan the landscape of an object. This type of LiDAR is commonly used for construction needs, geological needs, and forestry.

  • Geiger-mode LiDAR

Geiger-mode LiDAR specializes in high altitude scanning. With its comprehensive swath feature, Geiger-mode LiDAR can scan more areas than other types of LiDAR camera for drones.


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