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Lighting It Up: How LiDAR Is Applied In Civil Engineering

Lighting It Up: How LiDAR Is Applied In Civil Engineering

Light Detection and Ranging, known as LiDAR technology, utilizes light to in order to create a map of almost any kind of physical environment. The technology uses precise pulsed laser beams, allow it to produce incredibly accurate images of environments that would otherwise be difficult to map. The light pulses combine with other data that the airborne system records and generates three-dimensional information about the surveyed environment. As a remote sensing technique, Light Detection and Ranging systems can be applied in civil engineering management systems in these varied ways.

  • Ecological Land and Classification: This type of classification is performed to provide physical and biological information of a landscape. The gathered information is meant to help with the sustainable management of the landscape. LiDAR also helps in building a comprehensive map of the land and provides its correct surveying.
  • Exploration of Minerals Area and Quarries: Quarries are not only important in understanding the history of human civilization, but also in helping humans to continue to build up civilization. LiDAR can be used to detect quarries and minerals area as it gathers the topographical information of a location. The technology also assists in developing an image of the exact construction materials that are needed in the quarries.
  • Surveying Sewers and Manholes: The remote nature of LiDAR is extremely helpful in the sections of a sewer line that are inaccessible for humans. To get an accurate survey of a city’s sewer system, a sensor can be attached to a robotic machine can be fed into the pipe and send information back to a computer for analysis. With the aging sewer systems in the United States spilling an estimated 1.26 trillion gallons of untreated sewage every year, a strong survey of sewer lines in necessary.
  • Tunnel Surveying: In tunnels built to accommodate railways tracks or roads, LiDAR is very helpful in measuring details ahead of time. The technology can be used to analyze, assess, and model the tunnel before it is constructed. Whether the tunnel is built through a mountain, cuts through land, or goes underwater, LiDar technology can be a huge help.

Light Detection and Ranging technology is an important tool for most civil engineers who are monitoring or building systems and structures. With its use, previously unseen areas can be properly surveyed and recorded.

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