LiDAR systems available today include the Leica CityMapper 2, Teledyne Optech Galaxy T-2000 and RIEGL VQ-1560-II, these are capable of functioning at impressive speeds and heights – up to 4 million pulses per second and 7,500 metres respectively.  Moreover, they are able to capture multiple returns per pulse or even collect unlimited returns by digitising the full waveform.

Systems designed for small UAVs have also advanced rapidly – they can generate hundreds of thousands of points every second, allowing them to record hundreds of points in each square meter when flown at an appropriate altitude and speed.

Such systems consist of a combination of components which are generally referred to as the “system”; these sometimes may differ in specific details but usually include a laser scanner, inertial navigational system (INS) and cameras.