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Point clouds can be captured by an ever-increasing number of means to understand the surrounding reality and detect critical developments. Diverse applications of 3D laser scanning or ‘Lidar’, are changing the way we collect and refine topographic data.
Our surveys often have a verifiable accuracy of up to 10mm
Laser scanning is based on the use of optically directed Lidar beams to collect object information in direct 3D measurements. This allows the system trajectory (i.e. position and attitude), to be produced robustly and accurately.
Prior to the mid-1990s, GNSS-IMU technology was not affordable for commercial use. Since then, however, the market for devices has exploded, especially with the development of fibre-optic gyroscopes (FOG) and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technologies. Also, the buildup of nationwide GNSS base station networks has contributed to the success of Lidar in surveying and mapping in all its variety.
What makes Lidar so effective in topographic mapping is the capability to direct 3D measurements for the target and penetration of the beam through vegetation to collect information from objects and the ground beneath. The light wavefront passing through the vegetation produces information on the vegetation as a side product.
To yield such information, certain principles of laser ranging have to be deployed. The traditional way to gain long-range measurements is to shoot powerful laser pulses towards the target and collect the backscattering signal. The signal is then processed to detect objects at distinct ranges within the beam illumination area. These systems are the current mainstream and use a selection of spectral wavelengths to convey the data collection.