3D Modeling Drones Lidar Surveying

Leveraging Drone Lidar For Multiple Jobs And Applications

image of Leveraging Drone Lidar
Leveraging Drone Lidar

DRMP is leveraging drone lidar by combining data from the mdLiDAR3000, mobile and terrestrial LiDAR to quickly create accurate point clouds.

A guest blog post from Microdrones by Renee Knight.

When the team at DRMP Inc. first invested in UAS in 2016, it was because they needed an innovative approach for a challenging project. They were tasked with creating a design level topo of the runway and taxiways at Ascension Island, an isolated volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The fixed-wing solution they purchased allowed them to quickly complete the mission, and the drone program took off from there.

“The Orlando-headquartered company, which provides civil infrastructure services, progressed to rotary drones and eventually decided to start flying a LiDAR payload,” Charlotte Surveying/Geospatial Manager August Thick said from DRMP’s Charlotte, N.C., location. They already used terrestrial and mobile scanners, so it just made sense to add drone-based LiDAR to the mix. And after doing their research, it was clear the mdLiDAR3000 from Microdrones was the best fit.

“All of our terrestrial and mobile scanners are RIEGL, so we were drawn to the Microdrones system because we could equip it with the miniVUX2UAV,” Thick said. “We also liked that it was a complete solution. We didn’t have to build a system and try to make everything fit. It was already retrofitted to the scanner and all the offsets were calculated. The fact it’s built in Canada and not in China is also a benefit, as we do a lot of federal jobs that don’t allow us to use Chinese-made drones.”

The Projects

“DRMP invested in the mdLiDAR3000 about a year ago, and the team typically flies the system once a week or even more for bigger projects,” Thick said. They combine the drone-collected LiDAR data with their mobile and terrestrial LiDAR solutions, which has proven to be a significant time saver.

One of those projects involved flying 6.5 miles of Florida state Road 538 for a widening project, Thick said. The mobile system scanned the actual roadway, and that data was supplemented with the drone LiDAR data.

“We used the drone for basically everything that wasn’t pavement, so ditches, the ground beyond the ditches, fences, powerlines—anything we needed for a design level topo,” he said. “If we would have done that conventionally it would have probably taken triple the amount of time. We basically set targets and flew all that in two or three days. If we did that conventionally it would have taken two to three weeks.”

For the complete article on leveraging drone lidar CLICK HERE.

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