JACKSON, MISS. – The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is using LiDAR (light detection and ranging), to improve efficiency and safety in the construction and maintenance of road projects around the state.
LiDAR is a method for determining ranges or distances by targeting an object with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver. The reflected light data is then converted into distance measurements creating a 3-D model of what was measured.
Recently MDOT purchased drones with LiDAR to add to their fleet of vehicles that use the LiDAR to take measurements and map out road construction projects. Mississippi is now one of the first states in the southeast with this type of drone technology being put to use for state transportation work.
The LiDAR drones will allow MDOT workers to perform tasks in the field much faster than using traditional measuring tools. The technology will also increase safety for MDOT workers, greatly reducing the time they spend working in or near moving traffic.
Drones equipped with LiDAR also played a significant role in the recent construction of the State Route 26 slide repair in Greene County. That project included the complete reconstruction of the road bed and 300 feet of highway and was completed in 5 weeks.