LiDAR systems are a technologically advanced variety of remote sensing devices that measure laser radiations to find information about the structure and range of distant objects. LiDAR systems generate precise spatial information about objects based on the principles of reflection of light from different surfaces. By sensing the light reflected from an object’s surface, a typical LiDAR system develops 3-dimensional digital models or maps of the space where the object is located.
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LiDAR systems normally include a laser source that showers beams on any desired object, and a sensor that can absorb and analyze the reflected energy. For understanding the structure of an object within a space, a LiDAR system showers the laser beam upon the object and measures the light that was reflected from the object’s surface. The light reflected from the object’s surface and the time taken for the entire process (emission of light upon the object, reflection from the object, and sensing the reflected light) is measured.All the data gathered by the sensor is used to generate a 3-dimensional map of the object and to measure the distance from the object. LiDAR systems are quite similar in operation to RADAR systems. However, LiDAR systems make use of discrete laser pulses while RADARs use radio waves. Also, LiDAR systems use waves of shorter wavelength than RADARs.
Global LiDAR Market – An Overview
LiDAR systems are being increasingly employed for generating 3D imagery in a variety of commercial, consumer, and government applications due to the comparative advantages of these systems over traditional surveying and mapping methods. In the past few years, the global LiDAR market has also observed a significant reduction in prices of LiDAR devices, leading to their increased adoption on a global level.
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LiDAR systems offer significant cost and time saving capabilities, which have increased their adoption across many application areas. LiDAR systems have become more preferable over traditional mapping and surveying methods. The technology of photogrammetry has been replaced with LiDAR systems due to factors such as higher accuracy and light independency of LiDAR systems.
Transparency Market Research, a U.S. based market research firm, states that the global LiDAR market had a net worth of US$225 million in 2013. The market will grow at a CAGR of 15.3% between 2014 and 2020 and acquire a net worth of US$605.5 million by 2020.
Key Applications and Viable Regional Markets
Key applications of LiDAR systems are observed in coastal, forestry, infrastructure, aerospace, defense, flood mapping, mining, and transportation sectors. Of these areas, coastal applications currently account for the highest share of demand observed for LiDAR systems across the globe. LiDAR systems are mostly used in coastal applications for disaster control and management in risky coastal lines. The power sector is a relatively new application area of LiDAR where these systems are used for setting up or laying out transmission lines. The adoption of LiDAR is also increasing in application sectors such as transportation, defense, aerospace, and infrastructure.
On a geographic front, the LiDAR market observes the highest share of demand from the North American regional market. LiDAR systems have observed rapid adoption in these regions owing to the high investments in R&D activities and high penetration in the military and defense field due to government sanctions.
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Some of the key vendors operating in the global LiDAR systems market include Aerometric Inc., DigitalWorld Mapping Inc., Avent Lidar Technology, Firmatek 3D Mapping Solutions LLC, 3D Laser Mapping Ltd., Airborne Hydrography AB, Leica Geosystems AG, FARO Technology, Inc., Intermap Technologies Corp., Mosaic 3D, RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH, and Optech Incorporated.
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