Since the emergence of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) survey technology, obtaining 3D information has become easy and cost-effective. Civil engineering is highly dependent on 3D information to evaluate and run most of its applications and projects, making the use of Lidar survey a necessity. Aerial lidar survey also referred to as airborne lidar survey, has been a game-changer in most civil engineering projects.
Lidar surveying is a surveying method that measures the distance to a target by illuminating the target with laser light. It has proven to be of help in the construction and maintenance of dams, highways, and pipelines. Read on to find how lidar surveying has impacted civil engineering.
Dam surveying can be approached in two ways, either airborne lidar hydrography or topography lidar. The former uses two pulsating laser beam while the latter uses one laser beam. Either way, both of them are vital in dam surveying. It maximizes topological accuracy while minimizing the time used for the survey and the cost incurred.
Its help in feasibility studies has helped in discerning whether a project is viable or not. Regardless of airborne lidar being a technology to invest in, few have shown interest in it. It’s evident as per a survey that was done by The American Society of Engineers that deemed over 4,095 dams unsafe. This kind of information is possible thanks to airborne lidar and yet still avoidable if lidar surveying was a go-to option beforehand.
Flood Mapping and Catchment Survey
Aerial lidar survey and digital imaging services help in the management of water catchment areas and the feasibility studies of such areas. In the end, it has proven to be helpful in the management of infrastructure as well as land use mapping. Besides, it has also proven to be of help in flood mapping, providing information on emergency response planning, evacuation planning, and the drainage studies of the surface water.
It also offers spatial information on the vegetation cover of urban areas. Lidar surveying in Panama has helped in watershed protection and cadastral survey. The same applies to Florida as lidar surveying in Florida has helped in catchment surveys, terrain analysis and the management of forests. All these are vital applications in civil engineering.
Through 3D modeling, lidar services provide civil engineers with information vital for urban planning. Through the provision of views of proposed works in existing landscapes, lidar surveying offers analysis and preparation of vegetation cover in recreational centers and residential areas. The most appropriate example of aerial photogrammetry and lidar survey is what the state of Florida uses for urban planning purposes.
Apart from urban planning, lidar services have helped in transportation planning and management design and optimization of telecommunication networks. These go hand in hand with urban planning making lidar technology a viable choice for urban planning.
These are but a few of lidar applications in civil engineering. Others include; pipeline surveying, road surveying, railway surveying, transmission line surveying, et al. lidar is a technology that has proven to solve irresolvable civil engineering problems and not only civil engineering but also environmental and geological problems.