LiDAR may be required if you need to build a sophisticated aerial 3D map of anything like a bridge, the ground beneath a dense forest canopy, or even the gigantic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a sensor that maps out things on (or protruding from) the ground using laser pulses. LiDAR can build a detailed 3D picture of the Earth and its services and terrain and elevation models by mixing light pulses with other airborne data.
LiDAR technology has become even more accessible thanks to drones since LiDAR systems may be installed on a drone as an “all-in-one 3D mapping device.”
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What Are the Best Drone System for Carrying a LiDAR Sensor?
There are a few systems designed specifically for drone-based LiDAR, but many of them don’t smoothly link the drone and the sensor, requiring a significant amount of effort on your part to connect the two.
DJI Matrice 600
Mounting a ScanLook A-series LiDAR system to a DJI Matrice 600 drone is the simplest method to produce a drone-based LiDAR system that’s as near “ready to fly out of the box” as you can get (or the Matrice 600 Pro).
DJI Matrice 600 Pro
The Matrice 600 Pro is an updated version of the Matrice 600, which is not available directly from DJI in the United States.
The DJI Matrice 600 Pro, which costs around $5,000, upgrades the Matrice 600 that offers superior flying performance and carrying capacity. You’ll get an A3 Pro flight controller, a Lightbridge 2 HD transmission system, Intelligent Batteries, and a Battery Management system with that.
It’s easier to fly right out of the box than the original Matrice600, thanks to pre-installed arms and antennae that cut down on setup time.
Whether using a LiDAR system or something else, the drone’s modular architecture is ideal for installing extra modules. If you want to add one of DJI’s Zenmuse cameras, they’ll work right away.
You can also opt to use it in conjunction with third-party applications or hardware (like the ScanLook A-series LiDAR system).
Most Common Use Cases for Drones and LiDAR
Accident scene mapping for evidence: A drone can map an automobile accident site, and because it can be deployed fast, it can collect data right away, allowing for speedy ground cleaning. Even if the accident occurs at night, a drone can still assist. LiDAR does not require external illumination since it uses ultraviolet and near-infrared light.
Archeology: A drone equipped with a LiDAR system can map an entire city in 3D in a matter of minutes when traditional surveying methods would take years.
Flood prevention: A drone may fly over flood-prone locations and create a topographic model, which can aid risk assessment and emergency preparedness activities and provide elevation maps that show where drainage needs to be improved.