Underwater structures

LiDAR technology for 3D measurements under water

LiDAR technology (light detection and ranging) with pulsed lasers holds numerous advantages for 3D measurements under water or bathymetric measurements. LiDAR systems measure more accurately and in greater detail than camera or sonar systems, for example, and enable direct, true 3D detection even over comparatively large distances. However, water as medium presents some fundamental difficulties, which is why optical systems for underwater measurements have not yet been used on a large scale: Water strongly attenuates light. In addition, turbid matter in the water scatters the light and dazzles the sensors.

In recent years, researchers at Fraunhofer IPM have succeeded in overcoming these difficulties. Two LiDAR systems for underwater use are already in operation.


Terrain and underwater topography

Our LiDAR systems capture bathymetric data from the air. The high-resolution 3D measurement data provides information about the topography of coastal waters or water beds.



Our LiDAR systems detect large underwater structures and thus enable efficient monitoring of critical infrastructure.