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What is LiDAR?

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.



In its first major step towards mapping the jurisdiction of the entire stretch of the SoU Area Development Authority (SOUADA), the Gujarat government is employing the drone-based aerial Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and photogrammetry technology.

  • The technology will map with laser precision the exact contours, natural structures to buildings, including their cracks from the top with precision.


What is LiDAR?

It is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth.

  • These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.


How it works?

LiDAR follows a simple principle — throw laser light at an object on the earth surface and calculate the time it takes to return to the LiDAR source. Given the speed at which the light travels (approximately 186,000 miles per second), the process of measuring the exact distance through LiDAR appears to be incredibly fast.

  • A lidar instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver.
  • Airplanes and helicopters are the most commonly used platforms for acquiring lidar data over broad areas.



Insta Curious:

LiDAR vs Radar: know the differences here.



Prelims Link:

  1. What is GPS?
  2. Location based navigation services of various countries including India.
  3. How LiDAR works?
  4. Applications of LiDAR.
  5. What is Laser?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of LiDAR technology.

Sources: the Hindu.