LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) – UPSC Prelims

  • LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges & variable distances.
  • These light pulses combined with other data recorded by the airborne system generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.
  • LiDAR instrument principally consists of
    • a laser,
    • a scanner, and
    • a specialized GPS receiver.
  • Airplanes and helicopters are the most commonly used platforms for acquiring LiDAR data over broad areas.
  • Applications: LiDAR is used for agriculture, hydrology and water management systems, geology-related applications and also in archaeology.