A brief history of LiDAR and its uses

John Dutton
Aug 8, 2022

LiDAR is an acronym for light detection and ranging. It can fire almost a million pulses in a second to make a continuous pattern. Once the reflected light is measured on the scanner, the speed of light helps calculate the distance. A digital representation of surveyed areas allows workers to analyze the landscape.

Initially, LiDAR was used in aerospace applications in the 1960s. Around the 70s, NASA incorporated this technology in their Apollo 15 mission. With time, the adoption of LiDAR technology has grown exponentially. Traditional cases of LiDAR technology include construction, civil engineering, and surveying. It helps standardize tasks. As civil engineers have a restricted budget and strict deadlines, LiDAR technology speeds up the process for them.

Additionally, it can design 3D models. So, civil engineers can easily communicate their vision to architects. It also helps in identifying structural irregularities in existing buildings. In construction, LiDAR can be used to track project progress so that project managers can determine the required budget accurately. LiDAR data can produce a 3D projection for a given territory. It then creates a simulation of a similar new construction project. Testing how the sunlight reflects off the planned building can help determine aspects like window shape and size.  

Manifold is democratizing the capture and pipeline for 3D data so that taking 3D scans from the field can become as routine as snapping a quick pic. Manifold uses the LiDAR technology in iPhones or iPads to deliver interactive maps, x-ray views, and virtual walkthroughs. You can now scan and share your 3D data with just one click. You can take measurements remotely and make accurate estimates from your iPhone to save time and improve communication with your whole team.