Velodyne Announces Solid State Sensor

Velodyne LiDAR Inc., a world leader is 3D real-time perception systems for autonomous vehicles, announced its new fixed-laser, solid-state Velarray™ LiDAR sensor, a cost-effective yet high-performance and rugged automotive product in a small form factor. With the Velarray sensor, which can be seamlessly embedded in both autonomous vehicles and advanced driver-assist safety (ADAS) systems, Velodyne LiDAR again sets the industry standard for image quality and functionality delivered in smaller, more cost-effective form factors.

“The Velarray enables not only fully autonomous vehicles, but also ADAS systems such as adaptive cruise control, while at the same time providing a miniature form factor and mass production target prices,” said Mike Jellen, President & Chief Commercial Officer, Velodyne LiDAR. “It offers a unique value proposition empowering a vehicle system that improves the safe driving experience, alongside an upgraded path to full autonomy.”

The new Velarray LiDAR sensor uses Velodyne’s proprietary ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) to achieve superior performance metrics in a small package size of 125mm x 50mm x 55mm that can be embedded into the front, sides, and corners of vehicles. It provides up to a 120-degree horizontal and 35-degree vertical field-of-view, with a 200-meter range even for low-reflectivity objects. With an automotive integrity safety level rating of ASIL B, Velarray will not only ensure safe operation in L4 and L5 autonomous vehicles but also in ADAS-enabled cars. It has a target price in the hundreds of dollars when produced in mass volumes.

Velodyne has a lot riding on this new technology.

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Geiger-mode Lidar Correction

The following is intended to correct an error in a previous post on this topic. I am sorry for the confusion.

” AGERpoint, Inc.™ is proud to announce the development of its new LiDAR sensor, the GML100.  The GML100 is the first Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode LiDAR unit on the market to offer multiple returns per flash per detector and a form factor that can be used across a wide array of industries and mobile settings.  The increase in point cloud density made possible by this innovation results in higher quality three-dimensional point cloud data compared any product in its price category currently on the market.”

AGERpoint is only claiming that they have developed the first GmAPD Lidar capable of multiple returns per flash by reducing the impact of “blanking loss” which has been erroneously been assumed to be an inherent characteristic of all GmAPD devices.

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TUC 2017

Certainty 3D’s 2nd TopoDOT User Conference is just 3 short weeks away. You don’t have to be a subscriber to attend this outstanding learning and networking event. TUC 2017 is being held at a local community college which includes a number of well equipped computer labs as well as class rooms that support both the technical and the management tracks.

If you need to extract features or topography and create CAD objects in Microstation then you should take a look at TopoDOT.

The conference runs from May 8 – 12 in Orlando, Florida. Last year’s TUC was a high value event. I can’t wait to see what Ted and his team have planned for this year.

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Tree Segmentation

Traditional methods for segmenting trees attempt to isolate prominent tree crowns from a lidar-derived canopy height model. This group of researchers have introduced a novel segmentation method, “layer stacking,” which slices the entire forest point cloud at 1-m height intervals and isolates trees in each layer. Merging the results from all layers produces representative tree profiles.

When compared to watershed delineation (a widely used segmentation algorithm), layer stacking correctly identified 15% more trees in unevenaged conifer stands, 7%–17% more in even-aged conifer stands, 26% more in mixedwood stands, and 26%–30% more (with 75% of trees correctly detected) in pure deciduous stands.

Overall, layer stacking’s commission error was mostly similar to or better than that of watershed delineation. Layer stacking performed particularly well in deciduous, leaf-off conditions, even those where tree crowns were less prominent. We conclude that in the tested forest types, layer stacking represents an improvement in segmentation when compared to existing algorithms.

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Treesearch is an online system for sharing free, full text publications by Research and Development scientists in the US Forest Service. Included in Treesearch are scholarly works published by the agency as well as those published by others, including papers appearing in journals, conference proceedings, or books. All publications appearing in Treesearch are based on peer reviewed research to make sure they provide the best scientific information possible.

The Treesearch website has been delivering publications since January 2004, starting with a collection of just 7,000 and passing 40,000 by its tenth anniversary, with thousands added each year. A new version of Treesearch was launched in December 2013; see the bottom of this page for changes.

Searches in Treesearch are focused on the metadata surrounding a publication, things like author, title, and so forth. An alternative way to search the same collection is GeoTreesearch, an interactive map-based tool that combines full text searches of the publications themselves with a geographic filter based on the places mentioned in that text.

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First Geiger-mode Lidar

AGERpoint, Inc.™ has developed the first Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode LiDAR. The GML100 unit offers multiple returns per flash per detector and a form factor that can be used across a wide array of industries and mobile settings.

The acquisition software of the GML100 permits real-time point cloud viewing, facilitating mission planning and monitoring.  Taken together, the mobility and efficiency of the GML100 make it an ideal candidate for deployment in agriculture, defense, and forestry, as well as infrastructure projects such as highway, rail, and utility construction.

Data from the GML100 can be output in industry standard LAS and LAZ formats for analysis, or downloaded to AGERpoint for analysis and reporting through the AGERpoint web-based data platform. Agricultural growers also have the option of integrating their data with the AGERmetrix agricultural information management system.

With pricing projected to be more than 50% below those of sensors currently available, AGERpoint’s entry into the LiDAR sensor market promises to bring unprecedented levels of accuracy to the 3D modeling landscape in a highly mobile, cost-effective package.


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Scottish Power Using Lidar

Scottish Power is spending 36 million pounds to improve their vegetation management programs in Scotland and Wales. Part of the investment is going to the acquisition of airborne lidar.

Guy Jefferson, SP Energy Networks distribution director, said: “Managing trees next to power lines is one of the most important maintenance programmes we deliver to keep the lights on.

“It means that during severe winter storms we can reduce the number of properties affected by power cuts, and reduce the time to reconnect those who do.

“We will always need people on the ground to carry out the work, and we are pleased that our contracts will support hundreds of jobs in Scotland, the north west of England and north Wales.”


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SPAR 3D 2017

SPAR 3D 2017 is just a few days away. Monday will feature a pre-conference workshop offered by Trimble as well as product previews by the exhibitors. Allen Nobles will present on the upcoming change to the National Datum that is being planned for 2022.

Opening the conference will be 4 keynotes including smart cities, robotics, metrics for infrastructure and 3D project execution. The multiple track sessions follow with such topics as transportation, AEC and VDC and 3D technologies.

It is certain to be an exciting 3 days of learning and networking.

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Geospatial Tools Webinar

A free webinar, “Effective Use of Geospatial Tools in Highway Construction” is being offered on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 2:00 pm EDT.

Geospatial tools are widely used during highway construction and are considered foundational to realizing value for stakeholders through improved efficiency and quality. Understanding the benefits, challenges, and future opportunities of using these tools will help guide investments and improve stewardship responsibilities. Specifically, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) offer significant benefit to the project delivery process, but little is known about the costs, benefits, and limitations of this technology. Recent regulatory changes for UAS have increased the opportunity for deploying this technology during highway construction, but highlighted the need for recommendations on tool selection and appropriate use of geo-spatial tools as a whole.

To register click here.

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SPAR 2018 to Combine and Re-locate

Diversified Communications, the promoter of SPAR 3D will co-locate with AEC-ST in 2018. The combined event will take place June 5-7, 2018 in Anaheim, CA.

AEC Science & Technology (AEC-ST) is an international conference and exhibition focused on delivering critical education and products for AEC professionals seeking to keep pace with the fast-changing landscape of technology solutions and advanced workflows that are driving innovation and collaboration in the marketplace. “The AEC segment is one of the fastest growing and largest potential verticals for 3D technology adoption” said Lisa Murray, group director at Diversified Communications. “Top engineering and construction firms have always attended SPAR. Now they’ll have more reasons to attend to access focused AEC conference content as well as expanded product offerings in a combined exhibit hall. Many of the best-in-class solutions providers who would be candidates to exhibit at AEC-ST already exhibit at SPAR so there is a natural synergy built into this co-location. And we couldn’t be more excited about working with George Borkovich, the original founder of A/E/C SYSTEMS (which I attended in the  early 1990’s along with 10,000+ pre-Internet professionals), a world-class event for the AEC community that was highly regarded and will be re-launched as AEC- ST. There is nothing like it in the market at the moment and we see great potential for this particular event at this time.”

Borkovich explains, “SPAR 3D Expo & Conference is the ideal partner for AEC-ST. Their leadership in producing and developing technology events and the overlap with the AEC market segment is a winning combination. The SPAR 3D sensing, processing and visualization tool set is critical to help AEC professionals make our built environment a better place. ” Borkovich further hinted that more relationships are in the works that will continue to define AEC-ST as the leading technology, must-attend showcase for this industry.

The 2018 event will feature thought leaders from around the globe in two distinct conference programs. Attendees will have the option to select an AEC or SPAR conference pass or a combined passport to attend both. Exhibits will be integrated into one large exhibit hall at the Anaheim Convention Center allowing attendees full access to all vendors. The organizers plan to offer multiple live-demonstration areas including a drone zone, AR/VR interactive environments, hands-on workshops, an AEC hackathon, university lightening round competition and more.

Should be interesting to see how this all works out.

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