Microdrones Documentary Show Features Digital Twin Creation with LiDAR

By Mike Ball / 10 Sep 2021
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Microdrones drone LiDAR survey

Microdrones has released a new set of episodes of its “Down to Earth” reality series, which focuses on the challenges faced by real UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) surveying crews, as well as how they create real data deliverables. The new episodes follow Thompson Engineering as they use drone photogrammetry and LiDAR technology to survey, map, and create a digital twin of the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park to help with preservation and maintenance efforts.

Watch the new episodes on Microdrones’ website

The USS Alabama Battleship is the centre attraction at the Memorial Park. Large structures, an active tourist site, and other challenges face the team at Thompson Engineering as they set out to collect and process the required data to create both a digital twin and complete orthophoto of the park.

In episode 1, Robert Chrismon, PLS and Marketing Manager at Microdrones, and the team from Thompson Engineering meet up with Ross Kenney, the UAS Sales and Support Lead from Navigation Electronics, Inc. (NEI), a distributor of Microdrones integrated systems. Kenney demonstrates the capabilities of the all new mdLiDAR1000HR, which creates high resolution point clouds and provides increased coverage.

Episode 2 introduces Cody Floyd, Surveyor PIC at Thompson, who pilots the mdMapper1000DG to perform the photogrammetry mission. This will collect the data to create an orthophoto of the entire site and provide colorization for the LiDAR point cloud.

The third episode occurs at the Mobile office of Thompson Engineering, where the team works through the process and visualize portion of the workflow. Jason Gibson, PLS for Thompson Engineering, reviews the trajectory processing while working towards a final orthomosaic and then Robert Chrismon displays the digital twin of the USS Alabama in a LiDAR point cloud created in mdInfinity. Adam Mccullough, Survey Technology Lead at Thompson, commented on the data: “To me the data speaks for itself. Just looking at the point cloud, you can see how dense and crisp it is around the buildings, the planes and all the cars in the parking lot.”

The final episode is a new segment featuring a round table discussion where the team reviews the project and shares their final thoughts and insights. To find out more about creating a digital twin with drone LiDAR, watch the entire series on Microdrones’ website.

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