Case Study: LiDAR Mapping Workflow with UAVs

By Mike Ball / 12 Mar 2019
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Microdrones UAV lidar mapping

Microdrones, in conjunction with multi-discipline engineering design and consulting firm ESP Associates, has launched a new series of three videos, showcasing their LiDAR mapping workflow of Plan, Fly, Process & Visualize. In the videos, which can be viewed below, ESP Associates follows the Microdrones workflow to deliver the best possible solutions while cutting costs, saving time, and completing projects more easily.

The workflow centres around Microdrones’ mdLiDAR3000 UAS (unmanned aerial system), which integrates their md4-3000 aerial platform with a RIEGL miniVUX-1UAV LiDAR sensor and a Sony RX1RII camera.

Chuck Dorgan, Microdrones Sales Director-Americas, explained that operating the mdLiDAR3000 can be easily accommodated by sticking to the workflow. “You’re using our Microdrones airframe which is steady, robust, and very rugged. So, you’re using the information you collected in your PLAN in mdCockpit, to FLY autonomously, and then you’re able to easily PROCESS & VISUALIZE the collected data to generate the point cloud.”

Brian Flaherty, a Survey Manager for ESP Associates, sees the acquisition of the mdLiDAR3000 as a win-win for their clients and for his team. He said: “We’re able to certify the data and get it to the customer faster. That allows the developer to turn around their investment on the property faster, too.”


Dorgan commented: “Using our mdCockpit software, it makes it very easy to plan your mission. The software allows you to update the mission into the md4-3000 airframe and help you plan everything autonomously. That allows you to focus on the task at hand and collect the information needed.”



In the video, Chad Bolebruch, Survey Crew Chief for ESP Associates demonstrates the setup and operation of the mdLiDAR3000. He says, “In your mission editor, you really just trace out an area with your finger and it draws live onto the screen. From there, you can set your elevation, how tight you want your overlapping, and the hatching you want to fly.”


Process & Visualize

Dorgan explained: “Our mdLiDAR solution is much faster to be able to get from collecting the data to being able to generate the point cloud. Best of all, that final point cloud is created in the standard ASPRS LAS format which is usable in any GIS or CAD software environment.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact
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