The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) contracted with Woolpert for a single photon lidar (SPL) data acquisition and processing of approximately 3,726 square miles of South Dakota. The task order was issued under the Geospatial Product and Services Contracts (GPSC 3) as part of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), which is a USGS initiative to systematically collect enhanced elevation data via high-quality lidar data across the conterminous U.S., Hawaii and the U.S. territories. The data will be made available to the public.
This nearly $1 million project was the largest commercial SPL acquisition ever conducted in North America, covering approximately 3,726 square miles in South Dakota. The counties of Aurora, Buffalo, Brule, Charles Mix and Jerauld were included in the project’s area of interest.
The SPL sensor used in the acquisition, the Leica SPL100, is capable of collecting 6 million points per second using 100 output beams. John Gerhard, Woolpert vice president and program manager, said SPL is more efficient and can collect Quality Level 1 (QL1) or denser data from higher altitudes when compared to a traditional linear lidar sensor. Woolpert deployed its Twin Commander turbo-prop aircraft, equipped with the SPL100 sensor, for this project.
“Leica Geosystems developed and provided the sensor, which was introduced last year,” Gerhard said. “As 3DEP and the need for enhanced elevation data applications expand, it’s vital to employ the tools most appropriate to each project to best support the USGS and 3DEP. Leica Geosystems has been a great resource and an outstanding partner on multiple projects.”
Clear evidence of the value of these systems.