An Introduction to LiDAR Technology: What It Is and Why It Is Important for Drones

LiDAR Technology
LiDAR technology is one of the most important advancements made in the field of drones and robotics. LiDAR stands for "Light Detection and Ranging" and is a type of remote sensing technology used to measure distances between objects.

Key Takeaways:

  • LiDAR is an essential tool for creating autonomous drones since it allows for the quick and precise mapping of an environment.
  • LiDAR is a surveying technique that uses laser light to measure the distance between objects. LDR is the abbreviation for “Light Detection and Ranging.”
  • LiDAR systems cost different amounts depending on what kind it is and how accurate it is. Commercial drones cost between $2,000 and $80,000.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR Technology
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LiDAR is a surveying method that measures the separation between objects using laser light. The term “Light Detection and Ranging” is shortened to LDR. By using a laser to illuminate a target and timing how long it takes the light to bounce back, the technology may determine distance.

It is used to map the environment and help drones navigate. It can also help build 3D models of surroundings. This tool is very helpful for drones because they can use it for things like surveying, mapping, and search and rescue operations.

Why is LiDAR important for drones?

This advancment is a critical component for developing autonomous drones, providing the ability to rapidly and accurately chart an environment. Unique from LiDAR used in other enterprises, this new tech equips drones with navigational capabilities that help them easily maneuver around obstacles such as trees or buildings.

In Drone systems use this technology by rotating optical technologies, enabling 360° coverage without the need for movement. This generates a vast amount of data that must be processed efficiently in order to provide accurate results.

What is the future of this technology for drones

This technology is even being used in automotive vehicles as well. It is still a key topic as automakers get ready to fulfill the expected demand for SAE Level 4 autonomy, even if it’s still early in the game. It is highly likely that LiDAR will at least be used. Due to this, the market, which is anticipated to be worth $2.23 billion in 2022, is projected to grow to $4.71 billion by 2030, reflecting a CAGR of only 9.8%.

According to a report by Grand View Research, factors like the “rising demand for 3D imaging” and the “growing environmental concerns” are key factors in the increased use of this technology.

What Can LiDAR See Through

LiDAR Technology

Through dense foliage, such as forest canopies, lidar technology can precisely measure surface elevation data and locate hidden objects, such as hidden roads, houses, or weapons. This gives experts who are remotely monitoring the topography of the earth crucial information.

With a lot of information, photogrammetric techniques can produce some truly beautiful models. But there is a significant issue. The method is unable to see through thick vegetation and trees. This means that even if we use image processing to correct it, items covered by vegetation may not appear at all in the photos.

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