How Aerial LiDAR Saves You Time and Money in Topographical Surveys

Topographical surveys are essential for many applications, such as urban planning, infrastructure development, environmental management, and archaeological exploration. However, traditional surveying methods can be costly, time-consuming, and risky, especially when dealing with large or complex areas. That’s why more and more surveyors are turning to Aerial LiDAR, a cutting-edge technology that offers unparalleled accuracy, efficiency, and versatility in topographical mapping. In this article, we will explain what Aerial LiDAR is, how it works, and why it is more cost-effective than other surveying methods.

What is Aerial LiDAR?

Aerial LiDAR, standing for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing technology that uses laser pulses to measure the distance and elevation of objects on the ground. By mounting a LiDAR sensor on an aerial platform, such as a drone or an aircraft, surveyors can capture millions of data points per second, creating highly detailed and accurate 3D models of the terrain and its features.

How does Aerial LiDAR work?

Aerial LiDAR works by emitting rapid laser pulses towards the ground and measuring the time it takes for the reflections to return. The reflection times are then translated into distance measurements, which are combined with the GPS and IMU data of the aerial platform to generate georeferenced point clouds. These point clouds can be further processed and analyzed using specialized software, resulting in digital elevation models, contour maps, orthophotos, and other deliverables.

Why is Aerial LiDAR more cost-effective than other surveying methods?

Aerial LiDAR offers several advantages over traditional surveying methods, such as total stations, theodolites, and photogrammetry, making it more cost-effective for topographical surveys. Here are some of the main reasons why:

  • Aerial LiDAR is faster and more efficient. Aerial LiDAR can cover large areas quickly, reducing the time and labor required for data collection. For example, a drone-based LiDAR survey can map up to 100 hectares per day, while a ground-based survey can only cover up to 10 hectares per day┬╣. This means that Aerial LiDAR can save up to 90% of the surveying time, which translates into significant cost savings.
  • Aerial LiDAR is more accurate and detailed. Aerial LiDAR can capture data with a resolution of up to 5 cm, surpassing the accuracy of most traditional surveying methods┬▓. Moreover, Aerial LiDAR can penetrate vegetation and other obstructions, revealing the bare earth surface and its features. This allows for more precise and comprehensive mapping of the terrain, especially in complex or rugged areas.
  • Aerial LiDAR is more versatile and adaptable. Aerial LiDAR can be used for various environments and applications, from dense forests to urban landscapes. It can also be customized to suit different project specifications, such as the desired accuracy, resolution, and coverage. Aerial LiDAR can also be integrated with other technologies, such as photogrammetry, multispectral, and thermal imaging, to provide additional information and insights.
  • Aerial LiDAR is safer and less intrusive. Aerial LiDAR requires minimal physical access to the survey area, reducing the risk and disruption associated with ground-based surveying. Aerial LiDAR can also access and map inaccessible or dangerous areas, such as steep slopes, cliffs, or hazardous sites, without compromising the safety of the surveyors or the environment.

How can AirView Source help you with Aerial LiDAR?

AirView Source is an aerial drone capture company specializing in LiDAR and photogrammetry. We have the expertise, equipment, and software to provide you with high-quality and cost-effective Aerial LiDAR services for your topographical survey needs. Whether you need to map a small site or a large region, we can deliver the data and products you need in a timely and professional manner. Contact us today to get a free quote and consultation for your project.

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