LiDAR uses laser beams to scan an area or structure of interest. Millions of laser shots are emitted and recorded in the environment
This information is then analyzed on a computer to give an accurate 3D model of the area or structure of interest. The 3D model can then be manipulated to examine areas of concern. The manipulation includes rotating the model to view from various viewpoints and sectioning to look at specific locations. Measurements can be made in the model to provide a dimensional assessment of the facility. From this dimensional assessment, structure deformations and defects are visualized and the source of these deformations identified. For instance, measurements can be taken on a structure with rebar corrosion and concrete spalling from which wall or roof deformations may be seen and measured.
An initial scan and 3D model can be used as a baseline. With a subsequent scan at a later time, changes in dimensional characteristics can be measured by comparing the current scan with the initial scan. LiDAR provides the capability to take measurements where physical measurements would be difficult or impossible.