First of all it was quite a relief to get out of the cold and snow of the Northeast and into the 50 degrees and sunshine of the high plains in Denver – it really helps with the cabin fever.
I understand from Michael Hauck, the new Executive Director of ASPRS that in his presentation he referred to a LiDAR News blog post from 2009 that discussed the idea of certification of LiDAR professionals, much like the idea of a certified photogrammetrist. When he polled the audience about support for this idea nearly all were in favor. The challenge now is how to make this happen. Let me know what you think.
I asked a LiDAR industry veteran about the potential impact of UASs on commercial companies. He does not see that as a threat due to the limitations and relatively high costs of operating a UAS that would be capable of acquiring enough data to make them competitive. He pointed out that using a Cessna with a pilot who is trying to build up his/her flight hours is much more cost effective than a high end UAS.
He also thinks that the new lightweight LiDAR sensors being supposedly developed for UASs will be too expensive to risk flying on them. These are projected to cost in the $150k range. Bottom line – not only is there the FAA hurdle there is also the business proposition that will need to be sorted out at the commercial scale.
Lots of positive comments about the new LiDAR Magazine look and feel with its new, thicker cover and binding. On to Day 2.