Scripps Oceanography marine tech Greg Boyd (left), research and development engineer Brian Woodward and others prepare to launch a LIDAR-equipped drone from a beach north of La Jolla, Calif. Photo by Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego Publications.
The drone will supplement efforts to monitor coastal erosion using a pickup truck equipped with a LIDAR system, researcher Adam Young said. Light Detection and Ranging uses laser pulses to measure distances to make 3-D records of objects or terrain.
"The drone will help with areas inaccessible to the truck and can be used during high tides when the beach is too narrow. It will also be able to map features not visible from the beach such as the top of the cliff, and to monitor wave run-up," Young said.