Single Photon Lidar – Proper Use From an Industry Pioneer

As lidar sensor choices expand, knowing the right tool for the job is key. Single Photon Lidar – SPL, offers many benefits over traditional linear mode lidar, but it is not a panacea.

by Qassim Abdullah, CP, PSM  and Michael Meiser, CMS Lidar, PMP

The nadir view of the single photon lidar point cloud was collected above Keauhou Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The nadir view of the single photon lidar point cloud was collected above Keauhou Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Over the last 25 years, the introduction and evolution of lidar to the geospatial mapping community has revolutionized the digital terrain modeling process. Lidar acquisitions, which literally map at the speed of light, allow for a quick, efficient and highly accurate collection of detailed terrain modeling for an increasing breadth of applications.

In the last few years, new lidar technologies have entered the market and offered alternatives to traditional linear mode lidar. Each of these has strengths and weaknesses, and each is best suited to different lidar project environments. The key to getting the most impactful and efficient collection is knowing which mode to use for which project.

One example of applying the appropriate lidar tool to the benefit of a specific project was found in a collection conducted in early 2018 on the Big Island of Hawaii. Woolpert worked under a contract through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to provide the technical expertise, services and equipment for the procurement of high-resolution, Quality Level 1 (QL1) lidar data across more than 4,000 square miles of the Aloha State. The project was made possible by the NOAA Office for Coastal Management and its partnership with the USGS and multiple agencies, including the County of Hawaii.

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This entry was posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Data, Environmental, Government, Lidar, remote sensing, Research, Sensors, topography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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