Application of LiDAR in Civil Engineering

LiDAR technology, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, uses light to map virtually any kind of physical environment. Extremely accurate images can be rendered due to LiDAR technology’s use of very precise laser beams. It is a Remote Sensing technique, using either ground-based (Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS)) or airborne systems (Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS)), and is also referred to as Airborne Laser Swath Mapping (ALSM)

1. Elevation Model

Elevation values are used everywhere, in roads, building, bridge and other. It has made it easy to capture the surface height. Before LIDAR, ground survey or photogrammetry method was used to capture the z coordinates but the problem with this method was time consuming. LIDAR has made things easier and quicker.

2. Ecological Land and Classification

ELC is short form of Ecological & Land Classification. It is done to provide the biological and physical information of the Landscape which helps in the sustainable management. This helps in building the ultimate map and also provides the correct surveying for any civil engineering works.

3. Exploring Quarries and Minerals Area:

For Archaeology it is important to understand human civilization by finding the quarry and minerals site. So LIDAR is used to detect these spots. This also helps in creating an image of the exact construction materials that would need to be used in the quarries.

4. Right to Light:

Every house owner has right for the light, other type of construction should not block the light for the individual. As LIDAR data can capture 3D model of the building, GIS analysis can be used to produce shadow map which shows illumination area during particular time of the day.

5. Architecture:

Ground based LIDAR technology can be used to capture the buildings structure. This digital information can be transfer to computer for architecture to design the house model. The design can then be used to create the ideal maps or structure of the house under construction.

6. Recording of Building:

Ground based LIDAR can be used to record the inside of the house. It can be used to record the interior design too. This extracted data can be printed on the 3D printer to model it. Or when a building is being rebuilt this recorded information can be used to restore the interior design. This helps in replicating the exact design of the original house.

7. BIM:

GIS is a valuable tool that helps in the planning, organizing and subsequent growth in the energy and utilities industries. The effective management of energy systems is a complex challenge. GIS has enormous potential for planning, design and maintenance of facility. Also it provides improved services and that too cost effectively.

8. Sewer and Manhole Survey:

There are some places in the sewer line where that is not accessible by human being physical. In this situation sensor attached with the robotic machine are sent into the pipe for survey. This information is later feed into computer for analysis. This helps in creating perfect representations of the manholes and even coming out with exact designs of the manhole to be used elsewhere.

9. Geology:

In geology the combination of LIDAR aircraft and GPS has evolved so much it is used finding the fault and measuring the uplift. The combination of above technology was used to find the Seattle fault in the Washington State, USA. NASA satellite called ICESAT that has LIDAR sensor is used to monitor glaciers and perform coastal change analysis.

10. Urban Municipality:

LIDAR is used by urban municipality to survey the city. As LIDAR is accurate and quick to survey, it helps municipality to know where things are and what are the changes happened in the city. City assessment department can use LIDAR to find out what are things build up in the public backyard.

11. Tunnel Surveying:

LIDAR is used to measure accurate and detailed measurements, used for analysis, assessment and modelling of the tunnel that is for railway track or road. This might be in the mountain, land or underwater.

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