What is LiDAR?


LIDAR data is often collected by air, such as with this NOAA survey aircraft (right) over Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, Calif. Here, LIDAR data reveals a top-down (top left) and profile view of Bixby Bridge. NOAA scientists use LIDAR-generated products to examine both natural and manmade environments. LIDAR data supports activities such as inundation and storm surge modeling, hydrodynamic modeling, shoreline mapping, emergency response, hydrographic surveying, and coastal vulnerability analysis.

LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, 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.


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. Two types of LIDAR are topographic and bathymetric. Topographic LIDAR typically uses a near-infrared laser to map the land, while bathymetric LiDAR uses water-penetrating green light to also measure seafloor and riverbed elevations.


LIDAR systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both natural and manmade environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility. NOAA scientists are using LIDAR to produce more accurate shoreline maps, make digital elevation models for use in geographic information systems, to assist in emergency response operations, and in many other applications.


LIDAR data sets for many coastal areas can be downloaded from the Office for Coastal Management Digital Coast web portal.



NOAA. What is Lidar?. National Ocean Service website, https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/lidar.html, 06/25/18.

4 views

Authorized Dealer

WCD-Badge-Logo-black-bg-whitescale.png

110 E. Houston St.

7th Floor

San Antonio, TX 78205

Email Contact

(210) 425-1805

  • White Cloud Drones Facebook
  • White Cloud Drones Twitter
  • White Cloud Drones LinkedIN
  • White Cloud Drones YouTube
  • White Cloud Drones Instagram

© 2020 White Cloud Drones, LLC