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  • Union Ministry of Defence has approved LiDAR, an aerial remote sensing survey method, for carrying out the survey for the 45-km semi-high-speed railway line from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod.
  • The clearance had been given by the Ministry subject to strict compliance to the standard stipulations/conditions and with several additional conditions.

What is LiDAR?

  • It is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth.
  • These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.
  • It is a surveying technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser light.
  • It is sometimes simply referred to as 3D scanning or laser scanning with terrestrial, airborne and mobile applications.


A LIDAR instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver.


  • Two types of LIDAR are topographic and bathymetric.
  • Topographic LIDAR typically uses a near-infrared laser to map the land, while bathymetric LIDAR uses water-penetrating green light to also measure seafloor and riverbed elevations.

Why LiDAR?

  • LIDAR systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both natural and manmade environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility.
  • It can also be used to produce more accurate shoreline maps, make digital elevation models for use in geographic information systems, to assist in emergency response operations, and in many other applications.

[Source: The Hindu,]

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