ASTRALite recently collected several data sets from the world’s first scanning topo-bathy UAV LiDAR system that can seamlessly map both above and below the surface of water.
ASTRALite appears to be making progress in the development of their combined topo-bathy UAV sensor, claiming to measure features underwater at cm-level depth resolution.
A series of technology demonstrations to validate the capabilities of the LiDAR system include a demo with the Applied Research Lab (ARL) at the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) on Coconut Island in Oahu, HI.
The LiDAR collected several bathymetric and topographic data sets that show the ability of the LiDAR to measure both top and bottom surfaces, detect objects, and produce accurate 3D point clouds at cm-level resolution.
The results from this demonstration validates the system’s performance in favorable operating conditions, capturing and producing high-quality data sets from our prototype system. A total of seven flights were conducted, the longest being 17 min. The ASTRALiTe Lidar has its own battery power, enabling the UAV to fly for longer on its own battery.
The Topo-Bathy UAV LiDAR system was put to the test in mapping coral reefs. A special feature of the demo was measurement of underwater coral reef structures at centimeter-level depth resolution. Over a series of three days the ASTRALiTe LiDAR was successfully flown on the windward side of the island in conditions that included salt spray and significant surf, collecting dune, inlet and lagoon profiles, and near-shore bathymetry.
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