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LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure variable ranges to the Earth. Unmanned aerial vehicles use LiDAR technology for surveying, mapping, etc.

With current compact lightweight devices that can be easily mounted on UAVs along with advanced photogrammetry software, image processing has become faster and better. Valuable data obtained from these images can then be used by various governments, organizations and business for effective decision making.

Of late the LiDAR sensors have also integrated optical altimeter technology that helps to determine more accurate distance measurements above ground level.

Among the leading UAV LiDAR sensors picked by Geospatialworld.net are:


  • Velodyne – HDL-32E Lidar Sensor – a small, lightweight, ruggedly built and features up to 32 lasers across a 40 degree vertical field of view. It weighs less than 2kg and was designed to exceed the demands of the most challenging real world autonomous navigation, 3D mobile mapping and other lidar applications.
  • RIEGL  – VUX-1UAV LiDAR Sensor – a very lightweight and compact lidar laser scanner, meeting the challenges of emerging survey solutions by UAVs, both in measurement performance as in system integration. With regard to the specific restrictions and flight characteristics of UAS, the Riegl VUX-1UAV is designed to be mounted in any orientation and even under limited weight and space conditions.
  • Leica ALS80 Airborne LiDAR Sensor – a high-performance airborne sensor for urban mapping and utility corridor surveys.
  • FARO Focus3D X 130 – enables fast, straightforward, and accurate measurements of objects and buildings. Combining the highest-precision scanning technology with true mobility and ease-of-use, this new device offers reliability, flexibility, and real-time views of recorded data. With its integrated GPS receiver, the laser scanner is able to correlate individual scans in post-processing.
  • LeddarTech – Vu8 Lidar Sensor – a compact solid-state LiDAR that provides highly accurate multi-target detection over eight independent segments. Detecting targets at up to 215 m range and weighing only 75 grams, the Vu8 delivers nearly twice the range for half the volume compared with the Leddar M16 from which it inspires. The Vu8 uses a fixed laser light source, which significantly increases the sensor’s robustness and cost-efficiency compared with any scanning LiDAR solution.