• IASbaba
  • March 20, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Science & Technology

In News:

  • In simple terms, LiDAR stands for light detection and ranging. 
  • It is basically a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure distances to the subject. 
  • These light pulses – when combined with other data, generate accurate, high-resolution three-dimensional information of the object.
  • This technology is mostly used for ground-based surveys.
  • LiDAR was first used on a spacecraft during the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, when astronauts mapped the surface of the moon.
  • Apart from aerial surveys, the LiDAR sensor is the most important component in self-driving cars. The LiDAR sensor provides continuous 360 degrees of visibility and accurate depth information.

Challenges with LiDAR

  • LiDAR can measure the distance to surrounding objects up to 5 meters away, but won’t fare well in identifying objects in the vicinity.
  • Also, it can’t perform well in fog, rain, snow and dusty weather. 
  • LiDAR also struggles to detect a glass wall or door, which is why smartphone manufacturers and self-driving cars makers use LiDAR along with secondary cameras and sensors.

Do You Know?

  • Sonar (short for sound navigation and ranging) relies on sound waves to detect objects and hence is usually used to detect objects underwater.
  • Meanwhile, Radar (short for radio detection and ranging) uses radio waves to determine an object’s distance or range. Radio waves can work over a long distance and perform better in dusty conditions.

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