PDAL is a C++ BSD library for translating and manipulating point cloud data. It is very much like the GDAL library which handles raster and vector data. See Readers and Writers for data formats PDAL supports, and see Filters for filtering operations that you can apply with PDAL.
In addition to the library code, PDAL provides a suite of command-line applications that users can conveniently use to process, filter, translate, and query point cloud data. See Applications for more information.
PDAL should not be confused with PCL (Point Cloud Library). PCL is a library specifically designed to provide algorithmic analysis and modification of point clouds. PDAL provides a limited interface to the facilities of PCL, but does not in general attempt to duplicate its capabilites. PDAL is focused more on data access and translation than PCL. See filters.pclblock for more background.