FIRST ASSESSMENTS INTO THE USE OF COMMERCIAL-GRADE SOLID STATE LIDAR FOR LOW COST HERITAGE DOCUMENTATION
Keywords: low cost, heritage, documentation, iPad, lidar, photogrammetry
Abstract. Heritage documentation has benefitted greatly from significant developments in sensor technology during the past two decades. Miniaturisation of sensors is also an important aspect in the development of low cost sensors, always interesting in heritage projects where budgetary constraints are often present. Among these sensors, the solid-state lidar has begun to attract attention, partly due to its integration in Apple Inc.’s latest version of the iPhone and iPad series. We hypothesise that this type of sensor will see a lot of use in the near future; however, the question remains whether they are sufficient for heritage documentation purposes. In this paper, results from the 2020 iPad Pro SSL point cloud will be assessed and compared to more traditional techniques for 3D scanning (photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning). While understandably the geometric quality of benchmark-level techniques such as these remain undeniably better, at least for the moment, the paper concludes that SSL sensors may nevertheless be sufficient for some lower-precision applications.