The introduction of drones has been one of the groundbreaking innovations in the 21st century. Thanks to a rapidly growing drone industry, applications of drones continue to evolve. It has brought about some dramatic changes in different fields. For instance, aerial imaging has become a typical application of drones for commercial photography, photogrammetry, drone videography, landscaping, and many similar applications. Likewise, LiDAR drones are used for remote sensing, surveillance, and mapping large fields.
The LiDAR technology is beneficial for high-accuracy LiDAR mapping and distance measurement. That’s why many drone services now provide commercial LiDAR scanning solutions, creating a new application niche for drones in the construction industry. Accurate density measurement stands out among many LiDAR drone applications, and we are here to explain why. In this post, find out all you need to know about a LiDAR scanner drone and what makes it useful for density measurement.
What Is LiDAR Technology?
To understand the benefit of LiDAR for density measurement, let’s first take a quick look at LiDAR basics. LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and it refers to using light to measure the distances of objects that obstruct their path.
It’s based on laser technology, so when you have LiDAR on drones, you can expect a lot of lasers to be shot from a long range to create a topographical map. That’s why a drone is commonly used as an inspection gadget for a survey of the property and several related applications.
LiDAR Working Principle For Volumetrics
The working principle for LiDAR is simple. When a LiDAR drone sends a laser pulse to the ground, it hits the first object it encounters in its path and returns to the LiDAR sensor. Subsequently, more pulses are sent to the ground, which keeps coming back and help build a distance-based topographical image or LiDAR map of the ground.
Typically, a LiDAR can send more than 160,000 pulses per second. Understandably, the more pulses, the more accurate the image can be. Generally, every meter of a pixel gets 15 pulses per second. Therefore, LiDAR drones are an efficient option for a topography survey.
In addition, LiDAR drones can be an excellent option for measuring volumetrics in each area. For example, we can measure dams and larger reservoir fields accurately. Thanks to high-accuracy lasers available with LiDAR technology.
Given that LiDAR technology is critical in construction and agriculture, FlyGuys offer high-accuracy LiDAR drones for topographic mapping, roof inspection, and survey operations.
How LiDAR Proves More Accurate For Density Measurement?
LiDAR technology has been heavily used to understand the density measurement of a given region. For instance, a LiDAR drone can provide millions of data points for a LiDAR database that constitute a given space or object. However, research suggests that LiDAR technology has shown better results, precision, and accuracy.
Precise Small Distance Measurement
The reason for higher accuracy comes from the basic LiDAR principle of working. Since LiDAR uses light reflections to monitor and measure distance, it effectively measures up to micrometers of distance, and hence, it can give you an exact distance without much deviation.
But this accuracy can be compromised over more considerable heights. Typically, LiDAR drones can provide a 15 cm accuracy vertically and 40 cm horizontally. However, it’s much more accurate than topography maps based on photogrammetry and aerial images.
LiDAR Maps are More Accurate than Aerial Imaging
Generally, mapping with aerial imaging involves a series of images captured at high speed. Drones can capture the same region from different angles to create a three-dimensional representation of any area.
However, because the input is based on images, there is no certainty about a landscape’s heights, projections, and depressions. That’s why it’s more complex to predict any object’s possible depth or height from such a height.
Higher Sampling Rates Mean Better Density Measurement
Density measurement is more straightforward with LiDAR drones because of their high sampling rates. Typically, a LiDAR can receive thousands of pulses within a second, so the LiDAR database is loaded with data points and accurate readings from the sensor.
Typically, LiDAR drones have a control system within the platform. Hence it enhances the system’s accuracy and provides better precision in the achieved dataset.
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How LiDAR Drones Scan The Ground?
LiDAR drones ensure higher accuracy and density measurement with a side-to-side sweeping action. A typical LiDAR drone scans the ground from side to side. Here, it’s essential to consider the angular pulses. For example, if a drone sweeps through the land under survey, it will receive the reflection at a certain angle instead of a complete flip in the direction.
That’s why LiDAR drones account for the angle to provide a more accurate distance reading. Therefore, LiDAR calculations don’t just rely on pixels like drone videography or aerial imaging. Instead, it includes LiDAR height, angle, and elevation to provide a more accurate output for topographical maps.
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Main Advantages Of LiDAR Drones For Density Measurement
LiDAR technology primarily has its uses in interferometry, land survey, etc. Since it has a better density measurement output, LiDAR drones can help you with the following:
LiDAR Drones Have Enhanced Measurement Accuracy
The most important of all benefits is the accuracy of measurement. LiDAR accuracy can be as good as 5 to 15 cm vertically and up to 50 cm horizontally.
Much Faster Processing than Other Image Processing
Because LiDAR technology is based on sensor inputs, the data points require less storage which means they can be processed faster. This is a significant advantage over any image processing technique for density measurement. As a result, LiDAR drones can compute and generate a 1000 sq. km area in just a day.
LiDAR Drones are Automated
LiDAR drones have very little or no human dependency, and that’s why their commercial use is growing considerably. It captures and processes data automatically.
Works Every Time, Everywhere
Since LiDAR is based on light pulses, it doesn’t need any visibility or light for operation. Unlike cameras that require clear vision for accurate imaging, LiDAR can work in any weather conditions and is particularly useful in the dark.
Incredible Density of Data
Some LiDAR technologies can measure more than 167,000 pulses every second, which gives them a much better resolution than camera images.
LiDAR Drone is Cheaper
Because of a simple operation mechanism, LiDAR is much lighter on the pocket. In addition, higher accuracy, data speed, and density make LiDAR drones the perfect choice for a survey of the land, aerial imaging, etc.
LiDAR drones can play a pivotal role in the accurate and faster measurement of land and construction properties. That’s why opting for a commercial drone service can be an excellent option if you want accurate and high-precision 3D LiDAR maps for your business.