As an engineering tool, nothing gets past LiDAR. LiDAR is nothing short of revolutionary. With it, users can map an area with incredible detail, like nothing seen before. In fact, LiDAR even “see” through natural and manmade elements, such as walls, trees rocks, and more.
What Is LiDAR?
LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. The technology utilizes light in the form of pulsed laser beams. This light is combined with other data and creates incredibly accurate 3-D information about the area. There are a mind-boggling number of potential uses for LiDAR, one of which is in the field of civil engineering.
How Engineers Are Leveraging LiDAR
Surveying Quarries and Mineral Deposits
Mineral deposits and quarries are important areas to survey, as the results can be used to improve mining efficiencies as well as to save time and money when determining when and where to build and/or dig.
Surveying Manholes and Sewer Lines
LiDAR is operated remotely, making it ideal for surveying areas where it may be unsafe or uncomfortable for actual human surveyors to work. When sewer lines are inaccessible for any number of reasons, LiDAR comes to the rescue once again.
Tunnels are an essential component of the manmade infrastructure. Tunnels for roadways and railway lines need to be updated and maintained for safety and efficiency. LiDAR makes this is an almost unbelievably simple task to complete.Classification of Ecology Areas
Civil engineers perform ecological classification to help determine an area’s biological and physical landscape. The results of this work inform decisions about new construction developments as well as choices about where to preserve the natural landscape through conservation. LiDAR plays an important part in mapping out the land and ensuring that decisions are based on sound information.
LiDAR is filling an increasing role in helping to map the most critical parts of our earth. It’s no wonder that LiDAR has made it into almost every engineer’s toolkit.