Have you ever heard of LiDAR? It is light detection and ranging. It is a form of remote sensing that specializes in measuring the distance of an object from the earth’s surface.
The light pulses collected are combined with airborne collected information to create information about the object of interest and the earth’s surface.
The instrument used in this process is made up of three parts that form the basis of its operation. First, a lidar company provides uses the technology in its operations.
This technology is categorized into two. The two categories are;
- Aerial- it is done on drones or helicopters. Light pulses are sent from the drone to the ground. Once they bounce back, you can determine the distance. It is further subdivided into topological and bathymetric.
- Terrestrial- it is done on moving vehicles or from a specific point. It is meant to collect accurate data. It is divided into static and mobile.
This technology is standard for the numerous benefits that it offers its users. These advantages include;
It is fast
This technology utilizes sensors hence the acquisition of data is not only quick but also accurate.
You would only need to have a point such as an aeroplane or vehicle from where you will send out the light pulses.
It has a higher surface density
Surface density refers to the quantity per unit area spread over a surface. This technology is quite popular due to its ability to provide high surface density compared to other determining distances.
In addition to that, it has high penetrating power and can provide comprehensive information about the object of interest.
It is not affected by illumination
The basic working principle of this technology involves the use of lasers and sensors; hence it can be used whether there is light or not.
You can do your work during the day or at night.
It is unaffected by topography
Topography refers to the shape or landscape of the earth. Therefore, when selecting the method to measure the distance, you need to consider the topography of the land.
However, some methods such as light detection and ranging are not affected as you can do it from the air.
It follows a simple procedure
This technology is very independent as it does not require human intervention for its function.
It, therefore, saves on time that you would have spent on setting up and working on the machines.
In addition to that, it saves on labour as the machine only requires very few staff members to operate.
It is flexible
When measuring certain distances, you may need to incorporate several technologies to acquire the best results.
You would therefore require a method that is capable of blending with other technologies. For example, light detection and ranging can do this.
It allows one to incorporate other technologies while measuring the distance and analyzing and interpreting the data.
It does not require a clear path
Some methods may require the clearing of vegetation during the measurements of distances. However, clearing of vegetation leads to the destruction of the environment.
Nothing needs to be cleared for this method as the light pulses can penetrate through the vegetation to the object of interest; hence it is friendly to the environment.
From these benefits, it is clear that light detection and ranging are essential pieces of technology. But, where can it be applied?
It is applied in some agricultural processes
Agriculture is considered a crucial factor in each country as it is the source of food. Therefore, many countries invest a lot in methods to improve their agricultural systems.
Light detection and ranging are one of those methods. It is used to determine and improve several things in agricultural systems. These include;
- Determination of soil properties and crop conditions to allow for improvements to be made for more harvest.
- Determination of crop characteristics and the best environments for them to grow.
- Prediction of the total amount of yield to be expected and conditions favouring their growth.
It is applied in the investigation of climate change
Climate change tends to have various effects on the world’s activities. Some are positive, while others are pretty destructive.
A lot of research is being done to gain an understanding of what exactly triggers it. This technology is being extensively used in research.
It allows the scientist to understand pollution, weather changes, and even the gas composition of the earth.
It is used in the automation of vehicles
This technology is being used in the making of vehicles. The vehicles that have this technology incorporated in them have numerous advantages such as;
- More straightforward navigation can detect other obstacles and prompt the driver or system of the vehicle to move in the right direction.
- Avoid any collision with other objects on the road by determining the exact distance of those objects from your car.
- Safer driving by getting the ability to adjust the vehicle’s speed depending on how far other road users are.
It is applied in environmental conservation
Forests form a considerable part of the environment, and we are constantly encouraged to look after the forests around us.
They require a lot of management and inspection; this can be tedious and difficult, especially on extensive forests. But with this technology, it is easier to conduct forest management, inspection and precision.
This data is valuable in determining areas that may need improvement.
It is applied in the production of green energy
Green energy is that which is produced without the destruction of any part of the environment.
Wind energy is an example of such. It is produced by passing wind through turbines that lead to its production. Light detection and ranging detect the strength and direction of the wind leading to maximum production.
Solar energy is another form of green energy. This technology is used during the installation of solar panels to determine the area and direction of the panel.
When in need of a method to measure distances, light detection and ranging is a good choice.