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Lidar systems and their applications


I2M Tech is the exclusive agent for Ouster lidar systems in Egypt | know more about digital lidar sensors and their applications


What is a Lidar?

Lidar, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging or laser imaging, detection, and ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth.

The technology uses eye-safe laser beams to create a 3D representation of the surveyed environment. Lidar is used in many industries, including automotive, infrastructure, robotics, trucking, UAV/drones, industrial, mapping, etc. Because lidar is its own light source, the technology performs strongly in various lighting and weather conditions.


What are the 4 parts of the lidar system?

A lidar sensor device has 4 parts: a laser, a scanner, a specialized GPS receiver, and IMU (inertial measurement unit). These parts work in tandem to collect data necessary to create high-definition images and maps.


How does lidar work?

In an article by Geospatial World, according to the American Geoscience Institute, lidar uses a pulsed laser to calculate an object’s variable distances from the Earth’s surface. These light pulses — combined with the information collected by the airborne system — generate accurate 3D information about the Earth’s surface and the target object.

A lidar instrument has three primary components — the scanner, laser, and GPS receiver. The photodetector and optics are other elements that play a vital role in data collection and analysis. Most government and private organizations use helicopters, drones, and airplanes to acquire lidar data.


What are the types of lidar systems?

According to Geospatial World, lidar systems are divided into two types based on their functionality — Airborne lidar and Terrestrial lidar.


Airborne Lidar

Airborne lidar is installed on a helicopter or drone for collecting data. As soon as it’s activated, the Airborne lidar emits light toward the ground surface, which returns to the sensor immediately after hitting the object, accurately measuring its distance. Airborne lidar is further divided into two types — Topological lidar and Bathymetric lidar.


Terrestrial Lidar

Terrestrial lidar systems are installed on moving vehicles or tripods on the Earth’s surface for collecting accurate data points. These are quite common for observing highways, analyzing infrastructure, or collecting point clouds inside and outside buildings. Terrestrial lidar systems have two types — Mobile lidar and Static lidar.


How does Ouster’s digital lidar work?

According to our partner Ouster, their Multi-Beam Flash Lidar with SPADs and VCSELs uses an all-semiconductor approach that leverages a unique laser-detector combination: vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs). VCSELs and SPADs are cutting-edge laser and detector technologies, broadly deployed in markets outside of lidar – they are in smartphones, optical mice, medical equipment, telecom infrastructure, and more – but until now, there have been insurmountable challenges to using them in high-resolution lidar systems.


long-range and high-resolution sensing

As far as we know, Ouster is the first company to demonstrate and commercialize a combination of long-range and high-resolution sensing with VCSELs and SPADs in all ambient conditions.

The second chip in our flash lidar is our custom-designed CMOS detector ASIC incorporating an advanced single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) array. 

SPADs are a relatively new type of photo sensor that creates a binary pulse when a photon is detected as opposed to a traditional camera pixel which generates an analog signal that varies continuously with the amount of light on the detector. 

SPADs have single photon sensitivity, low noise, and excellent timing resolution (jitter between 10 ps and 100 ps is typical. That’s picoseconds – mere trillionths of a second!), all of which make them perfect for detecting and timing the ultrashort laser pulses in our lidar.

Like VCSELs, CMOS SPADs have many practical advantages over the traditional approaches from other lidar manufacturers. Most importantly, they can be directly integrated into a CMOS wafer, making it possible to incorporate massive amounts of signal processing on the silicon die right next to the detectors.


lidar resolutions

As lidar resolutions and data rates continue to increase, on-chip signal processing is essential – the current OS1-64 detector can count and store over one trillion photons per second in on-chip memory. This is a titanic amount of data, and we’ve included over 100 GMACs per second (1 GMAC = 1 billion multiply-accumulate operations) of signal processing logic in over 10 million transistors to ultimately produce the millions of 3D points per second that our customers use to drive cars, map environments, and identify obstacles.

The third component is our patented micro-optics, which enhance the performance of both our emitters and detectors. This optical layer efficiently directs light through our lidar sensor, increasing detector efficiency by multiple orders of magnitude. This efficiency gain is critical to the performance of our sensors.


What are the top 5 uses of lidar?

Lidar has numerous uses and applications in various industries and fields. 

NOAA scientists use lidar to produce more accurate shoreline maps and make digital elevation models for geographic information systems to assist in emergency response operations and numerous other applications.

Geo Matching listed 5 drone applications for airborne lidar: 


Land Surveying:

Airborne Lidar scanners can be used to create a digital terrain model (DTM) or digital elevation model (DEM). Data can be gathered using a drone, airplane, or helicopter, depending on the size of the surveyed area. A plane can usually acquire swaths of 3-4 kilometers in width in a single flyover. Drones are cheaper, safer, and faster for small terrain surveys.


Power line inspection:

Detailed information on power lines and the distance between poles can be extracted from the point cloud. This enables surveyors to analyze the detailed structure of the power line corridor, including vegetation, roads, and houses, and to identify potential risks.


Topographic and bathymetric surveys:

 Bathymetric and Topographic surveys usually cover large terrains and are often performed with airplanes and helicopters. Topographic Lidar maps the land with a near-infrared laser, while bathymetric lidar uses water-penetrating green light to measure the seafloor and riverbed.


Forestry and precision agriculture:

Lidar and aerial photos can be used to identify farm areas that use costly fertilizers to increase productivity. It can also be used for precision forestry to identify specific forest areas to increase productivity, reduce costs and preserve the environment.



It can be used in mining to measure ore extraction space. This is calculated by comparing surface data to previous scans. Drones are often used to survey mines because it is a faster and more economical option than surveying using airplanes. Terrestrial laser scanners and mobile mappers equipped with sensors are also used to survey mines.

Airborne lidars can also be used for flood mapping and catchment surveys. 

According to Lidar and Radar, Aerial lidar survey and modern imagining are essential in managing water catchment areas and practical study of such places. Nevertheless, it has proved essential in handling infrastructure and land use mapping.

It has also confirmed significant flood mapping, generating information on emergency response designing, evacuation planning, and surface water drainage.

Besides, it offers spatial info about the vegetation cover in urban centers. For instance, laser surveying in Panama has helped protect watersheds and cadastral studies. The same has also worked in Florida, where the lidar survey has played a significant role in catchment surveys, terrain analysis, and forest management.

Microdrones also believe they can be used for Transportation Expansion:

City planners looking for a powerful tool to help expand mass transit systems and rail stations need to look no further than lidar technology. UAVs with lidar sensors can scan broad areas and generate useful data to help determine plans for future transportation infrastructure. 


Who provides Ouster lidar systems in Egypt?   

I2M Tech is the exclusive agent for Ouster lidar systems in Egypt, providing their digital lidar sensors.


Where can I get Ouster sensors in Egypt? 

You can directly get Ouster sensors from our I2M Tech Website by directly contacting us. 


About I2M Tech 

Established in 2019 as a technology services and solutions provider, i2M Tech serves Egyptian markets.

I2M Tech has partnered with several US and India-based technology companies to offer innovative solutions, thus becoming the exclusive agent and partner for the leading companies in the fields of Energy and Utility, Home Automation and Smart Cities, Education and Learning, Risk, Integrity, Security, and Compliance in Egypt.


About Ouster Digital Lidars 

A team of software, hardware, business, and manufacturing experts building the next generation of high-resolution lidar sensors

We transformed lidar from an analog device with thousands of components to an elegant digital device powered by one chip-scale laser array and one CMOS sensor. The result is a full range of high-resolution lidar sensors that deliver superior imaging and are flexible enough to serve various automotive, industrial, smart infrastructure, and robotics applications at a dramatically lower price.

Ouster’s digital lidar | types of lidar Systems

What types of digital lidars are available in Egypt? 

At I2M Tech, we provide 3 Ouster digital lidars: OS0, OS1, and OS2.



Ultra-wide field-of-view lidar sensor for autonomous vehicles and robotics

Ouster high-performance, digital lidar solutions provide a full range of high-resolution lidar sensors that deliver superior 3D imaging under all work conditions. OSO is the most performant ultra-wide field of view sensor available, providing superior performance in near-range object classification in the warehouse or on the open road - powered by Ouster’s new L3 chip.

Its applications range from crowd/capacity management, traffic planning & management, mining, and transportation. Governments can accurately gather all the required data in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). 


90º of vertical vision

The ultra-wide view OS0 sees everything from the floor to the ceiling. Your vehicle will always notice a curb, a pallet, or overhead obstacles.


Stunning point clouds

With 128 channels of resolution and up to 5.2M points per second, the OS0 sees more than every other ultra-wide sensor on the market. The OS0 delivers clean, dense data across the entire field of view for accurate perception and crisp mapping.


Redefines “short range.”

The OS0 now sees over 35m on a 10% reflective target, with a maximum measurement range of over 100m. That’s an entire city block and more than a full warehouse aisle.


Built for real-world reliability.

With a simple digital design and new automotive-grade components, OS0 is designed to withstand the rigors of daily use in even the most extreme environments.


Key features

  1. 35 m Range at 10%

  2. 100 m Max Range

  3. 90º Vertical field of view

  4. 128 Channels of resolution

  5. 5.2M Max points per second

  6. 10x Photon sensitivity

  7. -40°C Min operating temperature

  8. 60°C Max operating temperature

  9. IP 68 & IP69K Ingress protection


Mid-range digital lidar sensor

The go-anywhere, do-anything lidar sensor delivers the best combination of range, field of view, resolution, and form factor on the market - powered by our L3 chip.


Stunning point clouds

With 128 channels of vertical resolution and up to 5.2M points per second, the OS1 features a higher resolution than every other mid-range sensor on the market. The OS1 delivers clean, dense data across its entire field of view for accurate perception and crisp mapping.


More range, more possibilities

The OS1 now sees 90 m on a 10% reflective target and over 200 m at maximum range. That’s why the OS1 is the sensor of choice for industrial automation, robotics, and mapping.


Exacting precision

Clean scan lines. Sharp corners. Flat walls. Incredibly accurate 3D maps and digital twins indoors or outdoors.


Built for real-world reliability

OS1  handles extreme shock and vibration and is IP68, and IP69K rated, so you can pressure wash it when you’re done.


Key features 

  1. 90 m Range at 10%

  2. 200 m Max Range

  3. 45º Vertical field of view

  4. 128 Channels of resolution

  5. 5.2M Max points per second

  6. 10x Photon sensitivity

  7. -40°C Min operating temperature

  8. 60°C Max operating temperature

  9. IP 68 & IP69K Ingress protection


Long-range digital lidar sensor

Image quality point clouds in a sensor that enables real-world deployment of autonomous trucks, robot axis, and shuttles - powered by our L3 chip


Our longest range ever

Equipped with the breakthrough L3 chip, the OS2 detects 10% reflective targets at 200m and boasts a maximum range beyond 400m.


Stunning point clouds

Up to 2.6M points per second for rich, detailed data. 128 channels standard. Dual returns and calibrated reflectivity.


Long range to fit your budget

Long-range lidar has been too expensive for too long. The OS2’s simpler digital lidar architecture makes it less costly to manufacture and deploy on your fleet.


Embedded near-infrared camera

Our L3 chip represents a major upgrade to Ouster’s unique 2D camera data layer. Now you can run computer vision algorithms on 2D data perfectly correlated with 3D lidar data, indoors and out.


Key Features 

  1. 200 m Range at 10%

  2. 400 m Max Range

  3. 22.5º Vertical field of view

  4. 128 channels of resolution

  5. 2.6 M Max points per second

  6. +/- 2 cm Max Precision

  7. 10x Photon sensitivity

I2M Tech is currently the official agent for Ouster sensors in Egypt, you can request Ouster’s digital lidars by contacting us