Lidar will continue to be primarily used for current and future vehicles, specifically self-driving cars, but the use cases outside of vehicles continues to grow.
An interesting example of this is the recent announcement by Fugro, which will use lidar floating on buoys to measure wind for a Danish offshore artificial energy island project.
Fugro secured a contract with Energinet, which is constructing the energy island for the Danish government, to install and operate four Seawatch wind lidar buoys in two locations — Energioe Nordoen and Energioe Blatic.
These lidar buoys will act as hubs for connecting several offshore wind farms.
Starting this month, the buoys will record continuous wind measurements for a minimum of one year to support wind-resource mapping for the two islands. Fugro is already performing geophysical surveys for the Energy Island project under a separate contract to provide Energinet with de-risked site interpretation.
The Seawatch wind lidar buoy can record wind measurements up to 250 meters above sea level as well as wave measurements and current profiles down to the seabed. The buoys act as a multipurpose platform for metocean sensors and will be fitted with sensors to capture geo-data on environmental impact parameters such as bat monitoring.
“Energy Islands is a landmark project, on which it is crucial for Energinet to understand the natural forces affecting the development,” said Jørn Erik Norangshol, service line director at Fugro. “The Seawatch wind lidar buoys will provide the best possible wind data to support future investigation and analysis.”
Lidar use case growing
Lidar continues to be used for tasks where measuring data or generating 3D models of the environment are needed. While once used for satellites and space monitoring, lidar has grown to be cheaper and more portable to be used in other applications.
Now, lidar is cropping up in everything from surveying work equipped onto drones to traffic monitoring, industrial robots and lawnmowers. There is also a cottage industry of applications being built for lidar for use in the indoor 3D mapping of buildings and urban planning for smart cities.
While many of these technologies are still some years off, projects are already emerging to test how this technology can be used for future and current applications.