The team at Geodetics, an AEVEX Aerospace company out of San Diego, has seen an uptick in infrastructure-related LiDAR requests in recent months, Vice President Bob Stadel said, largely because of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill that has money flowing down to state transportation agencies.
From an article in Inside Unmanned Systems by Renee Knight.
Many are interested in the company’s higher-end LiDAR-based systems, which, while a little bigger, provide better accuracy, with point clouds within 1 or 2 centimeters. They also want solutions that can be easily swapped between ground- and drone-based systems, and, in some cases, are integrating photogrammetry and multispectral sensors for even more robust end products.
Their LiDAR-based systems, deployed on vehicles and UAS, are 3D-mapping city blocks, looking for areas that need upgrades, and completing projects such as road corridor surveys and bridge inspections.
Getting the Full Picture
Drone-deployed LiDAR is the next evolution of the mobile systems, said Mark Treiber, product manager for Teledyne Geospatial. Drones provide a view from above that goes beyond the road, but with a lower point density.
“With a UAV, you’re filling in a lot of those shadows you miss from a vehicle,” Treiber said. “For example, if there’s a fence on the side of the road you can capture data beyond it or beyond the parked car that previously was shadowing the area you were surveying.”
A mobile LiDAR system gives surveyors the accuracy they need for design grade, said Qassim Abdullah, vice president and chief scientist for Dayton, Ohio-based Woolpert, while drone-based does not, at least not yet. But drones offer a cheaper, more efficient alternative for data collection off road and in smaller site areas where varying levels of accuracy are required.
Drones can fly along rights-of-ways to map an area before an expansion or new build so workers know where poles are and if there are any changes in grading or drainage that could lead to flooding during a rainfall, LiDAR USA CEO Jeff Fagerman said. While typically the accuracy isn’t quite there for picking up the small cracks and fissures engineers look for in road inspections, what a drone can cover from above provides a more complete view, without the cost of hiring a manned aircraft.
For the complete article on the infrastructure bill CLICK HERE.
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