LiDAR sensors have arrived for the UAV market, Velodyne is producing the VLP-16, which will be available at the end of 2014, the cost for each sensor is $7999.
Preliminary specifications call for a range of more than 100 meters, with a target range of 150-200 meters. The unit’s low power consumption (<10W), light weight (about 600 grams), compact footprint (Ø100mm x 65mm), and dual return option make it ideal for UAVs. Velodyne’s LiDAR Puck supports 16 channels, ~300,000 points/sec, a 360° horizontal field of view and a 30° vertical field of view, with ±15° up and down. The Velodyne LiDAR Puck does not have visible rotating parts, making it highly resilient in challenging environments.