Terrestrial LiDAR


The Earth Observatory of Singapore acquired a LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) device in 2010. It is a RIEGL VZ-400, with a range up to 600m at Laser class 1, repeatability of 3mm, and a measurement rate of up to 125 000 measurements per second.

The LIDAR measures the distance to a target by emitting light pulses. This instrument can scan the topography with exquisite precision. LIDAR datasets are used in tectonics to map faults and earthquake rupture offsets: the accuracy of this instrument allows researchers to constrain precisely the slip-distribution of various faults in Asia; with complimentary dating, scientists can also estimate earthquake cycles on a given fault. Sedimentologists also use the LIDAR to map precisely various outcrops

This technique provides real topography through ultra-high-resolution, vegetation-free images of an area as large as several square kilometres. The CGO at EOS is fully capable of acquiring and processing Ground-LiDAR data

Since 2009, EOS has widely used crystal-clear topographic images from the ground-based laser scanning technique (Ground-LiDAR) in earthquake and tectonic-related studies, especially in central China and Nepal.

In 2021, the CGO team also conducted a Field 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanning of Microatolls in Sentosa and St John’s Island, Singapore. The objective of the survey is to create realistic 3D models of microatolls. This specific circular colony of corals is a natural recorder of how relative sea level changes over time in Singapore.  As the fieldwork was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions, safe management measures were strictly adhered to by members of the CGO team.

Terrestrial LiDAR Project in China

CGO field engineers conducting Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) on Sentosa Island, Singapore, in 2021 (Source: Leong Choong Yew)

Terrestrial Laser Scanning in St John’s Island, Singapore, 2021 (Source: Chulalak Sundod)

The CGO team working on Terrestrial Laser Scanning, St John’s Island, Singapore, 2021 (Source: Wong Siow Kay)

Scanning, Siloso beach, Singapore, in 2021 (Source: Leong Choong Yew)

A group photo of the CGO team with Terrestrial Laser Scanning in Siloso beach, Sentosa, Singapore, in 2021 (Source: Leong Choong Yew)

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