LiDAR Services and Sensors

Midwest Aerial is a leading provider of Airborne LiDAR data in the United States. LiDAR is an acronym of “Light Detection and Ranging” or “Laser imaging, Detection, and Ranging”. LiDAR is sometimes known as 3-D laser scanning. Airborne LiDAR is currently the most detailed and accurate method of creating digital elevation models (DEM).

Using LiDAR will augment (and sometimes replaces) traditional photogrammetry methods in the map making process. A major advantage of LiDAR is it’s ability to penetrate the vegetation concealing the ground. In addition to penetrating to the ground, with multiple returns from each laser pulse, the vegetation above the ground can also be mapped 3 dimensionally.

Accuracies greater than 2inches (50mm) can be achieved, even in forested areas. Airborne lidar digital elevation models can see through the canopy of a forest cover to perform detailed measurements of scarps and erosion to interpret deep-seated landslides. This is particularly important for a geotechnical analysis of a pipeline right away to determine if ?????


  • LiDAR is used to perform:
  • Wide area mapping
  • Powerline and pipeline corridor mapping
  •  Urban mapping
  •  Infrastructure and Engineering mapping

Optech LiDAR Sensors

Optech LiDAR Sensors
Midwest Aerial has chosen LiDAR
systems made by Teledyne
Optech. Currently we are operating
multiple Galaxy Prime systems
integrated with Phase One RGB
digital cameras.
The key features of these systems
are that they generate up to one
million pulses per second and can
collect up to 8 returns per pulse. At
these pulse rates, a point density
of 75 points per square meter
(ppsm) are practical with vertical accuracies of less than 3 centimeters, just over 1 inch on hard surfaces. An extremely important feature of the Optech LiDAR systems is Swath Trak. This technology automatically adjusts the laser scan width for varying terrain heights below the aircraft. This prevents potential gaps in data between flight lines. This increases the efficiency of the flight by reducing the number of flight lines and eliminates re-flights due to gaps in data. Click on the following video for a demonstration of the practical applications.

Optech LiDAR Swathtrack Video for
Terrain Elevation Changes

In addition to varying terrain heights below the aircraft, Swath Trak technology corrects deviations in aircraft orientations and errors in the flight path. The following video demonstrates these corrections.

Optech LiDAR SwathTrak
Corrections for Deviations in Aircraft
Orientations and Position

Phase One RGB Camera

Integrated with each of our LiDAR systems is a Phase One RGB digital camera system. This allows for an integrated workflow for LiDAR and imagery. Not only is there a simultaneous collection of LiDAR and imagery, but also a single software for processing the LiDAR, imagery, and trajectory to ensure data co-registration.
The co-registered LiDAR and imagery data allows for the creation of colorized point clouds and/or orthophotos.