Miniaturization of LiDAR technology has seen giant advancements in recent years. So much so, new cell phones come with limited LiDAR technology. With the explosion of autonomous systems, LiDAR has become the standard in navigation using SLAM principals. This alone has greatly pushed LiDAR sensor technology to now offer as much as 128 line or 1 billion returns per second.
Regarding aerial mapping and surveying, LiDAR equipped drones can now penetrate densely forested areas, offer vegetation identification, even predict growth. All this and more while achieving millimeter accuracy. Couple this technology with structure, and auto-detection of defects and cracks can be realized. Welcome to the laser revolution.
Image sensor technology has exploded as well in recent years. In the AG world panchromatic cameras have been developed to gather multiple data imagery for growth analysis and treatment. These cameras capture visual light, Non-Visual light, and even Infrared/thermal imagery for post processing. Combine this with powerful software and you can accurately treat for pests (prior to infestations), fertilizer treatments, and hydration.
With multispectral imagery, the AG world could potentially save hundreds of millions of dollars wasted in over treatment and crop loss. For the AG world, these cameras change the game.
What used to cost fortunes has now come way down with the mass development of thermal sensor technology. Thermal imagery and video can be used for:
Public Safety and Security - sight through the cover of darkness and smoke, fire fighting searching for hot spots
Industrial Inspection - petroleum facilities, power plants, and solar panel inspection; to name a few, all greatly benefit from thermal imagery
Real Estate - Thermal envelopes precisely tell clients where they are losing or gaining energy from outside exposure through poor insulation
Agriculture - As stated above the AG world greatly benefits from data gathered from crops with thermal imagery
RGB Sensor & Zoom Technology
Nobody can deny basic RGB camera sensor technology hasn't come leaps and bounds in the past decade. Cell phone cameras the size of a pencil tip can capture 20+ megapixel imagery. Size that sensor up to a 4/3 sensor and 100+ megapixel imagery is easily achievable. Couple that with manual and optical zoom features and you now have the capability to capture insects from over 150 meters.
Full body SLR cameras have brought this technology within affordable price ranges. Combine these cameras with multi-axis gimbals for stability and you can target and track moving objects at great distances with crystal clear imagery.