Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)
is a remote sensing technology that measures scattered light (laser) to find information and range of a distant target. LiDAR is comparable to radar in certain aspects. However, LiDAR uses waves of shorter wavelengths unlike radar, which uses radio waves for measuring targets. The wavelengths of the electronic spectrum for LiDAR technology typically lie in the visible, ultraviolet and infrared range. The LiDAR technology enables direct measurement of 3D structures and underlying terrain with high resolution and high data accuracy. The two major types of LiDAR include Airborne LiDAR which includes topographic and bathymetric LiDAR and Terrestrial LiDAR that includes mobile LiDAR and short range LiDAR.
The growing demand for 3D imagery in various end use sectors such as construction, power transmission, transportation and defense and aerospace is the major factor driving the LiDAR market globally. Further, the LiDAR technology offers extensive time and cost saving capabilities which have increased the likes of its adoption and thus, the technology is preferred over traditional mapping methods. The LiDAR technology has replaced photogrammetry mainly because of its comparative advantages over photogrammetry in terms of light independency and high accuracy. On the contrary, complexity in LiDAR data interpretation due to lack of standardization is one of the major factors challenging the market growth.
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Coastal applications of LiDAR dominated the market in 2013 whereas transmission lines segment is expected to experience fastest growth over the forecast period. The major use of LiDAR in coastal applications is for disaster management and control in disaster prone coastal areas. The adoption of LiDAR technology in the power sector is increasing as power utilities are increasing incorporating LiDAR technology in laying out and setting up transmission lines. The adoption of LiDAR is also expected to increase in transportation, infrastructure and defense and aerospace end user segments.
Geographically, North America dominated the global LiDAR market. The growth in this region is attributed to high research and development spending on bringing innovations in the LiDAR technology and high penetration in defense and military due to support from the government. Europe closely follows North America and a large number of key players are supporting the growth in order to meet the demand of huge consumer base in this region. Other regions such as Asia Pacific and RoW are expected to experience significant growth over the forecast period.
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Major industry participants in the LiDAR market are 3D Laser Mapping Ltd., Aerometric Inc., Avent Lidar Technology, Airborne Hydrography AB, DigitalWorld Mapping Inc., Firmatek 3D Mapping Solutions LLC, FARO Technology, Inc., Intermap Technologies Corp., Leica Geosystems AG, Mosaic 3D, Optech Incorporated and RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH among others. The key strategy adopted by majority of these players to strengthen and expand their presence in the global LiDAR market is new product development through technological innovations and product enhancements.
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