Browse Definitions :
Definition

Lidar

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Lidar is a laser-based method of detection, range finding and mapping.

Lidar typically uses a low-power, eye-safe pulsing laser working in conjunction with a camera. The laser illuminates a target and associated software calculates the time it takes for the laser to reflect back from the target. In some applications, specifically-tuned lasers may be used to excite and detect elements or compounds.

Lidar's best-known application is measuring the speed of a target, for example in police speed guns (one of the few non-eye-safe applications of the technology).  Lidar is used in conjunction with GPS to yield three-dimensional (3-D) topographical maps -- even through foliage -- by sweeping from a vantage point such as the underside of an aircraft.  

Because Lidar can penetrate forest canopy, the technology has been used to find lost cities. In June 2013, an international team of researchers used Lidar to discover Cambodia's Mahendraparvata, a 1200-year-old city that rivals the current capitol in size and complexity. 

Other applications of Lidar include:

  • Range-finding and map-making in space exploration. In the 1970s, for example, Lidar was used to map the surface of the moon. 
  • Obstacle detection and collision avoidance in autonomous vehicles, such as driverless cars.
  • Biological agent detection and autonomous flight for military operations.
  • Determining the most effective use of fertilizers for farming efficiency.
  • Predicting the energy yield for wind power.
  • Surveying and calculating ore volumes for minerals.

It is not known where the word Lidar comes from. According to various sources, the word is an acronym for light detection and ranging, laser interferometry detection and ranging or light/radar.

This was last updated in September 2013

Continue Reading About Lidar

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

In many projects, LiDAR may be able to pay for itself in terms of time and cost saved — and, as it becomes an industry standard, the costs related to it have been steadily decreasing 
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • Malwarebytes software

    Malwarebytes is a cross-platform anti-malware program that detects and removes malware and other rogue software.

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS)

    Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a protocol that provides authentication, privacy, and data integrity between two communicating ...

  • van Eck phreaking

    Van Eck phreaking is a form of electronic eavesdropping that reverse engineers the electromagnetic fields (EM fields) produced by...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity ...

  • business continuity policy

    Business continuity policy is the set of standards and guidelines an organization enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk ...

SearchStorage

  • solid-state storage

    Solid-state storage (SSS) is a type of computer storage media made from silicon microchips. SSS stores data electronically ...

  • persistent storage

    Persistent storage is any data storage device that retains data after power to that device is shut off. It is also sometimes ...

  • computational storage

    Computational storage is an information technology (IT) architecture in which data is processed at the storage device level to ...

Close