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Library vs Custom Collection LiDAR

LiDAR Library Data is essentially LiDAR data that a company or organization has already collected, and it can be used by anyone who purchases or obtains rights to it from that company. Engineers or project planners may opt to purchase and utilize LiDAR Library Data due to budget or time constraints.

Here are pros and cons to this type of downloadable data service.


  • As it is previously collected data owned by the company who gathered it, it is typically sold at a lower price, as it can be re-sold several times to different clients.
  • Since the data has already been collected it can generally be downloaded easily, often available to the client the next day
  • Large areas can be obtained for a comparatively low cost.


  • As there is often a minimum area size that must be purchased for download, the client might end up paying for excess areas that they would not need.
  • The data may be older or out-dated, and if so it may be missing key changes to the landscape that would affect the client’s overall project. An update might not be available for years
  • Since the data is previously collected from past flights it might not include all the areas that the clients need, essentially leaving gaps.

Based on a client’s project requirements or parameters LiDAR Library data may or may not be suitable for some projects. If it were not, then new aerial LiDAR data would have to be collected.

Not long ago that option may have been cost prohibitive, but that is no longer the case. As LiDAR technology and processes continue to evolve and improve, then budget and time constraints need no longer prevent the collection of new, relevant data. Due to these advances in LiDAR technology and processes SkyTech Solutions is able to offer an innovative and cost-effective service: Multi-Temporal aerial LiDAR collection for custom areas. This service is distinctive because it offers clients new benefits in order to overcome the shortcomings of Library LiDAR Data and traditional custom aerial LiDAR collection:

  • The client can arrange to re-collect data at set time intervals, as required, to ensure that they always have the most up-to date data
  • As this service is customizable, the client can ensure that data is gathered for their area of interest only, not extraneous additional areas simply because of minimum area requirement.
  • The client retains ownership of the data, rather then purchasing shared data.
  • New technology and processes have culminated in a fast turn-around time, so that time constraints present less of an issue to gathering and delivering new data to clients
  • The cost of collection cost will be comparable to the cost of downloadable data

At Skytech we are very excited to be a part of these remote sensing technological advances and processes. If you would like to learn more about how LiDAR, or Multi-Temporal aerial LiDAR data collection can help you, please contact us.






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What is the Electromagnetic Spectrum?

Simply put, it is the entire range of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Classically EMR is viewed as a self-propagating transverse oscillating wave of magnetic and electric fields, that travel at the speed of light (in a vacuum).


Source: Wikipedia (

They are also described Quantum Mechanically in terms of massless elementary particles known as photons (quanta of EM waves), which are particles that behave both like waves and particles and are effected by gravity. EM waves are characterized by either wavelength or frequency, and this is used to organize them in the range of the spectrum. Below is an image outlining wavelength from shortest to longest: Gamma Ray, X-Ray, Ultraviolet, Visible, Infrared, Microwave and Radio.

Source: NASA (

Wavelength is inversely proportional to the wave frequency and energy. EMs with long wavelengths, say Radio waves have lower frequency and lower energy levels. Short wavelengths can be significantly smaller then atoms themselves, while long wavelengths are limited only to the size of our universe! This is one reason why UV rays can be harmful to humans; the higher energy levels of UV in respect to visible light can break down DNA, causing permanent damage to cells.

Why is this relevant?

As it turns out EM waves interact with matter in an interesting manner and this interaction determines what the absorption spectra of atoms will be. Atoms absorb specific frequency of EMR, and to an observer they appear as dark bands in the spectrum, these bands correspond to allowed energy levels within atoms. In reality these bands show that these specific frequencies are scattered in all direction. Conversely the opposite is an emission spectrum, where atoms emit specific frequencies. The image below is the hydrogen absorption spectrum, where the absorption bands are 410nm, 434nm 486nm and 656nm respectively, in essence this is the “finger print” of hydrogen!


Source: The University of Texas at Austin (

The types of electromagnetic radiation by wavelength as mentioned above are broad generalization and there are no set boundaries. But there are some distinctions

  • Gamma Ray: The most energetic of the types, it’s usually associated with anything nuclear yet it has many medical uses and security, from PET scans to VACIS to authenticate cargo in a truck.
  • X-Ray: You guessed it, this is how doctors see if you have a broken bone. These are highly energetic, and its uses range from Medical CT scans to when you go through airport security.
  • Ultraviolet: The violet you cannot see with your eyes, but can be quite harmful to your skin due to its energy levels. Bees can see UV and see flowers differently then we do. Uses can range from using UV as a sterilizer to clean water, to using fluorescent dyes to prevent counter fitting.
  • Visible: The wavelength you are used to seeing on a daily basis. From violet, to green to red.
  • Infrared: If you have remote control you have definitely been exposed to infrared, the invisible beam that turns your channels. It is called infrared because it’s below the red visible wavelength. Lots of practical uses come from this type, from night vision cameras to hot spot detection uses thermal gear.
  • Microwave: You likely have a microwave at home to heat your food, and you guessed it, it uses microwaves. But its heavily used in telecommunications, from Satellites in space, to your GSM signal on your smart phone.
  • Radio Wave: The AM/FM radio you may listen on the way to work uses radio waves. But these types of waves have multiple uses, from Radars to detect planes to Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) that can be used to map water cavities underground.

This is pertinent to Skytech Solutions as these natural realities allows us to determine what type of equipment to use on our Rotary/Fixed-Wing UAVs, when we can use them and what type of data our clients can expect to receive. It allows us to see heat damage on flare stacks, determine plant health, detect moisture on roof tops, see subsurface anomalies and even penetrate the ground, something conventional cameras cannot do.

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