Light Detection and Ranging (more commonly called LIDAR) is a laser-based remote sensing technology. It is widely used in the domain of geographical information system (GIS) for surveying and mapping natural resources and infrastructures.
LIDAR is well known in the domain of producing high-resolution maps in remote sensing, atmospheric sensing, geomatics, geography, geomorphology, archeology, forestry, contour mapping, laser altimetry, geographic informatics.
More generally the LIDAR technology is used in a great number of sciences related to geomatics, which are relying on high accuracy definition of terrestrial three-dimensional points position combined with an extremely precise & faithful calculation of the distances and angles between them.
One of the specific features of the LIDAR is that it can penetrate the vegetation, and “see” what is underneath. Thanks to the 3 echoes of the LIDAR embedded on our UAV, a portion of the high frequency light pulses (that the multi-echo LIDAR sends to the surface of the earth), go through the vegetation and reach the ground. The reflection of these pulses is captured by the LIDAR allowing to reveal objects that are under the flora.
Since a decade, the LIDAR technology has proven its efficiency and the market needs are steadily increasing. However, LIDAR systems are heavy (usually from 20 to 100 kg) and currently operate from manned planes or helicopters. Due to the high costs of such aircraft operations, this kind of sensors are not cost efficient and thus not attractive for small-area surveying (of less than 100 hectares).
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are also a highly dynamic growing sector, with the undeniable advantages of cost reduction compared to helicopters, eliminating the risk of endangering human lives in some cases, and the speed of implementation.
The Yelloscan LIDAR has been created by the company “l’Avion Jaune” for its own surveying services and also for other professionnal-grade data providers.
It is an ultra-light laser scanner intended for UAVs and other ultra-light aircrafts, which makes a perfect combination together with the OnyxStar FOX-C8-HD octocopter drone, built by AltiGator.
The LIDAR’s positioning precision is achieved thanks to an embedded RTK (Real Time Kinematic) GPS.
The above animation shows how the results obtained from the LIDAR highlight archaeological relics hidden under the vegetation.
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