Markets and Markets has released a report that analyzes the LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) market by product types (airborne, mobile, terrestrial and short range) and applications (government, civil engineering, military/defence/aerospace, corridor mapping, topographic surveying, and volumetric mapping) and provides global forecasts for the period 2013 – 2018.
LiDAR has been traditionally applied to produce 3D digital elevation and terrain models typically for forestry and civil engineering applications. But corridor mapping (for example, for transmission lines), which uses mobile LiDAR systems as well as airborne LiDAR, is projected to be the application with the highest annual growth rate from 2013 to 2018.
The report estimates that the global LiDAR market was worth $218.9 million in 2012. Civil engineering was the most important application. Most of the revenue was derived from airborne lidar systems, partly because they are relatively expensive. But this is changing. The report forecasts that the global LiDAR market will grow by more than 15 % annually over the next five years, reaching $551.3 million in 2018. The report predicts that airborne LiDAR systems will have the lowest compound annual growth rate among the four types of LiDAR systems and projects that the revenue associated with terrestrial and mobile LiDAR systems will surpass that of airborne LiDAR systems by 2018.
The report also forecasts that low-cost LiDAR systems could revolutionize the surveying industry in the next five years. I blogged recently about a light weight UAV-mounted LiDAR platform weighing less than 10kg which combines UAV, LiDAR and GNSS technology and is designed as a micro-mapping solution.