LiDAR, standing for Light Imaging, Distance and Ranging is a surveying method that utilises pulsed light in the form of a laser to measure a range/variable distance from the earth. These measured light pulses are combined with precise GPS and IMU data to create highly accurate 3D models of the surveyed area. LiDAR surveying has traditionally been reserved for large scale operations with full sized aircraft and multi-million-dollar setups. Due to recent technology developments, UAV based LiDAR scanning can now outperform full size aircraft operations both from a resolution (point density) and cost efficiency perspective.
LiDAR scanning allows for highly accurate 3D models to be processed and produced in a fast, efficient and reliable manner meaning important insights can be gained by engineers, designers, asset managers and land owners in a more on-demand timeframe than ever before. Utilising the LiDAR scanner and a high-resolution camera simultaneously during a mission also allows for an accurate model to be colourised with conventional images to produce photorealistic 3D models, DTM/DEM and mesh files.
Applus+ UAV have already completed several client missions utilising airborne LiDAR scanning technology including vegetation clearance monitoring for powerline corridors, environmental / vegetation growth monitoring and as-built 3D models for the construction and oil and gas sectors. We are currently implementing this technology in larger scale operations such as 1000 km + powerline clearance projects and long range coastal and river surveys.
The acquisition of the UAV LiDAR scanner has further expanded Applus+ UAV’s payload capabilities which already include various RGB imaging sensors, radiometric infrared, multispectral sensors, gas monitoring, payload delivery, test sample collection and haul line delivery.