What is Aerial Lidar Survey

Lidar is an aerial mapping technique that uses lasers to create topographical maps. Lidar stands for light detection and ranging. A lidar survey uses lidars on airborne platforms to map the ground below by recording surface elevation points, or coordinates, at very specific locations where each pulse of laser light reflects off the earth’s surface. These lidar point clouds are used in a variety of industries including surveying, engineering, and construction.

Lidar & INS

You will need a lidar with Inertial Navigation System.  INS is a system that uses data from an IMU (inertial measurement unit) and lidar for precise positioning. Lidar gives accurate range measurements to the ground while IMU provides velocity measurements. The INS will then use both lidar and IMU data to provide accurate speed and position readings in order to maintain flight at a set point without the need of external equipment, such as GPS.


You will need a quadcopter UAV. Lidar point clouds are captured by lidars mounted on aerial platforms such as helicopters or quadcopters, that fly over the area to be surveyed at a specific height and speed. A UAS equipped with lidar gives you the ability to capture the lidar data from an aerial perspective. Currently, there is no substitute for lidar data collected by UAS/UAVs in terms of accuracy, density and coverage area.

Post-processing software

You will need lidar point cloud processing software. Point clouds are captured by lidars on aerial platforms using INS (the lidar’s IMU is an accurate positioning system that provides the data needed to navigate). The lidar point cloud post-processing software can be used to help you handle lidar point cloud data more efficiently.

Point Cloud Software

You will need lidar point cloud processing software. There are many point cloud lidar data processing software available in the market to help you handle lidar point clouds more efficiently and accurately convert lidar point clouds into 3D surfaces, such as Limon.