(Light Detection and Ranging) is an optical remote sensing technology that uses laser pulses to find range and/or other information of a distant target. Like radar technology, the range to an object is determined by measuring the time delay between transmission of a pulse and detection of the reflected signal.
A basic airborne LiDAR system consists of an aircraft, laser scanner, a GPS and an IMU (inertial measurement unit). As the laser scans the ground, the GPS tracks the location of the sensor and the IMU records the orientation of the aircraft. Through post processing the data a 3D point cloud of the area is created. From this cloud we can create extremely detailed topographic maps, digital terrain models (bare earth) and digital surface models including buildings, trees and other features.
Unlike aerial photography which only provides a two dimensional product, LiDAR can provide a true three dimensional end product.
Click image for a larger view.
Powerline Corridor Scan
Small Town Fly Over
Contour comparison, sample shoreline, photogrammetry vs. LiDAR:
Note in the lower images (click to view) the contours generated from the aerial photography are aesthetically pleasing but lacking when compared with the LiDAR derived contours. Click the images for a better view.
Unmatched Data Density:
LiDAR allows us to collect millions ( 100,000+ pulses per second) of points in minutes. Using these points we can accurately recreate tree canopies, bare earth models that traditional mapping methods cannot match. These point densities allow us to create highly detailed topographic contours and higher resolution models. Better models and maps mean better final products for your clients.
Multiple returns capture tree canopy, utility lines and ground layout.
A single LiDAR laser pulse can have multiple returns (echoes) and each return represents a reflection from a target. The multiple returns allow us to capture the tree tops, intermediate vegetation and the ground.
Green points represent returns or echos and the orange points would be final returns or ground hits.
Speed and Mobility:
Airborne scanning allows us to scan and map terrain that is difficult to access and we can collect thousands of acres per day at resolutions in excess of 16 points per square meter. While many LiDAR providers take months to turn around projects MT LiDAR is much faster. Many small projects can be delivered within a few weeks of approval, in some cases even faster turnaround is possible. Unlike some providers, MT LiDAR never outsources the post processing of data overseas or even domestically, we perform all our processing in house to ensure quick turnaround and quality assurance.