LiDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, is a commonly used method of surveying land or components in several applications and industries, including civil engineering. Engineering companies use LiDAR detection to help them see the big picture and gather data during the planning stages of their infrastructure project.
There are many reasons why an engineer would use LiDAR detection, and below are just a few benefits to doing so.
Accurate data collected quickly
LiDAR is a method of gathering data via laser sensors fired from an aircraft, which means that the resulting data is collected almost instantaneously and is extremely accurate.
Higher area density
Because LiDAR is able to penetrate the ground and provide detailed models of the object being surveyed, it provides a much higher area density (otherwise known as surface density). This can be useful for applications such as flood plain delineation and is preferred for applications that require higher surface density over other methods such as photogrammetry.
Able to collect data through vegetation
LiDAR is able to penetrate thick vegetation such as forest canopies to gather surface elevation data and create accurate models. Whereas photogrammetry is only able to create models based on two-dimensional images and is unable to read elevation through dense forests or brush.
Isn’t restricted by light source
LiDAR can be used during the day or night because it’s a light emitting method and isn’t reliant on ambient light sources, as is the case with photogrammetry.
Unaffected by distortions
LiDAR isn’t affected by geometrical distortions such as an angular landscape that can affect the outcome of models in some methods.
Can be integrated with other tech
Sometimes, analyzing and interpreting data collected from LiDAR detection can be difficult. However, LiDAR can be integrated with other technologies to allow for automatic analyzing of complex data.
LiDAR isn’t heavily dependent on human interaction and can function on its own for most applications since it’s an automated system. Therefore, valuable time is saved which can be spent working with the resulting data to progress the overall project.
There are numerous other benefits to LiDAR technology, which is why it’s a popular method used by engineers in various applications. A traffic engineering company might use LiDAR surveying to begin repairing America’s major roads, of which over one-third are estimated to be in poor or mediocre condition. A structural design engineer might need to use LiDAR to assess the integrity of a future build site. LiDAR is a versatile and useful method that provides numerous advantages.
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