LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging and in the simplest sense, it measures distance to a target. To scan the space, the LiDAR transmitter sends out short laser impulses, which hit surrounding objects and reflect back to the LiDAR receiver. The distance between the LiDAR and the object is calculated by measuring the time it takes for the laser pulse to travel to the object and back to the receiver.
This process is repeated many times per second to generate a dense point cloud of the surrounding environment. The data is processed using specialised algorithms to create high-resolution, three-dimensional maps of the objects surrounding the LiDAR-equipped device or vehicle. It provides a high level of accuracy and precision in detecting objects, even in situations where other sensors may not be sufficient, such as in low-light conditions or in environments with poor weather. Data from sensors like (thermographic) cameras, radar, sonar, etc. is strongly supplemented by LiDAR use.
LiDAR is considered a crucial technology for Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) to enable safe and reliable autonomous driving, and for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
LiDAR systems are also being used in other applications, such as surveying, mapping, archaeology, meteorology, and forestry, to name just a few.
- Light Detection and Ranging
- Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging
- Laser mapping
- 3D laser scanning