Lidar Drones: Detection, Mitigation & Everything In-Between

The very term product LiDAR Drones have a two-pronged implication on the market. Taking the word ‘drones’ first, it has undoubtedly permeated all segments of our daily lives which are steering various end-users ranging from agriculture to defense towards its adoption. The other part is the technology that it is incorporated with called is LiDAR that is known for its capability to measures distance to a target with the help of lasers. The aforesaid function of Light Detection and Ranging or LiDAR encompasses sensors that emit laser beams that shoot down to the ground and bounces back. The distance of the laser and back to the sensor is then measured and recorded. The degree of accuracy and detail, for example, the extent of foliage on the ground and its density makes it all the more a uniquely positioned device that has enabled the players of this market to find great prospects archaeology, e-commerce, forestry, geology, geomatics, seismology, among others. Therefore, there is an increasing interest, consequent investments in research and development and other strategic initiates among the players of this market.

For example, LiDAR drones that are being flown over certain areas are enabling the creation of maps, which are being developed to highlight, survey, and monitor grounds where key infrastructural development such as towers and wind turbines could and have been built.  Moreover, the areas that are subjected to natural calamities like flooding, for example, LiDAR drones are being deployed to an enhanced and accurate degree of measurements that can help improve risk assessment outcomes that ultimately aid in an efficient and effective emergency planning process making disaster management efforts hassle-free. Further, the areas that are affected by drought, these scientific marvels are deployed to measure the vegetation density thus aiding in the improvement of drainage systems helping experts to design are more water conservation friendly drainages system whereby the scarce commodity could be judiciously used.  Thus with such extensive use, the semiconductor sector in this space is poised to witness growing investment in the form of R&D and various strategic decisions that are poised to throttle the growth of the Global LiDAR Drone Market trend.

Certain key strategic initiatives in the LiDAR Drones Market

For example, as late as April 2020, Woolperthas been contracted by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to develop a strategic plan and concept of operations for Indiana’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) program. Woolpert has decades of transportation engineering and survey experience and works directly with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulatory leaders and provides strategic consulting. Woolpert will be responsible for creating policies, procedures, and standards for INDOT to manage, share and align with designated agencies throughout the state. Further, the firm recently concluded a contract with Indiana to acquire and process high-resolution orthoimagery and lidar data throughout the state as part of IndianaMap, which houses and shares Indiana’s geospatial data and services. This is an extension of UAS contract, complementing the firm’s support of these technologies across the state. Therefore from the aforesaid, it can be discerned that government initiatives, like that of state administration exemplified above, are also major driving factors for Global LiDAR Drone Market growth.

Earlier in JULY, 2019, geospatial hardware and software provider, GeoCue announced True View, a new line of drone sensors. The first variety is True View 410, a mapping camera configuration for commercial drone platforms that enables surveyors to produce 3D colorized point clouds, oblique imagery and orthophotos with a single flight. Moreover, it is the first integrated lidar/camera fusion platform in a payload package, in the industry that weighs less than 2 kg. Further, in January 2020, the globally acclaimed and industrial renown DJI through its Open Innovation Initiative has brought to the fore Livox which unveiled two new sensors, the Horizon, and the Tele-15.  Earlier in October 2019, RedTail LiDAR Systems – a division of 4D Tech Solutions, Inc. Introduced the RTL-400 LiDAR mapping system that has been designed to specifically provide high-resolution 3D images of objects on the ground from small drones flying at an altitude up to 400 feet. With unique scanning capabilities for a wide range of applications – from precision agriculture to construction site monitoring and management the RTL-400 has been developed with technology licensed from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL).

Again, in July 2029, The Genius drone LiDAR system weighing only 1,168 grams SureStar’s UAV-based LiDAR sensor with Applanix’ APX OEM module for a lightweight UAV mapping solution which enables an efficient and swift mapping or surveying through the means of UAV to produce high-quality deliverables.  Later in November 2019, Middle East Survey Engineering (MESE) – an UAE-based geospatial solutions provider that provides engineering, mapping, marine and surveying, services to government authorities and private entities in the GCC and MENA regions launched the first Lidar-based unmanned aerial system (UAS) in the UAE. It has been reported that the drone equipped with a laser head (UAS with Lidar) utilizes both fixed-wing and multirotor capacities to capture georeferenced data with high accuracy, simultaneously doing away with pixel and GSD challenges associated with a mapping corridor of 400m. While the aforesaid is majorly hardware and technology-centric development, there has been another development that has been brought about along the lines of the pricing model to foster more transactions in the market. To this end, it may be noted that in September 2019, GeoCue Group introduced its new hardware as a service (HaaS) Evergreen Subscription for their True View UAV LIDAR/Imagery Fusion Sensors to the drone industry. access to the True View 410 LIDAR/dual camera imaging sensor under an “Evergreen” subscription pricing model are provided to customers under This breakthrough business model. A True View 410 subscription includes the sensor hardware, all processing software, maintenance, and support and is a turnkey system to ensure the concerned projects are completed on time without any hitch. Therefore, it is evident that with such development the LiDAR drone market is poised to witness a meteoric growth during the forecast period.