LIDAR scanner

Jun 20, 2015
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St Lawrence County, New York, USA
Has anyone ever thought of mounting an LIDAR scanner on their drone to do mapping? Just wondering if it has been done by anyone here. I would like to try to mount one on mine and be able to create maps.
There was a lot of chat about six-eight months ago on the P2 forums about scanning and mapping software, Pix4D. I didn't use it myself, but a lot of guys did. It was free to use, I believe, and came up with some decent results.

Edit - there is another thread on here today about the same thing!
Haven't seen the other thread yet but you would need a much more powerful liar than the you you posted because it only has a range of 6m. I'll leave the pix4d stuff to the other thread.
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That is an awesome piece of equipment-- wonder what the cost of that is-- the uses in the pipeline industry would be unlimited.
The state police took several hours to measure and map the scene for accident reconstruction. I bet it would be a lot faster with a drone equipped with a scanner.

Your correct it would be a lot faster with a LiDAR equipped aerial platform. Not to mention the benefits of having the data in a digital format; Review, Sharing, Reconstruction, uniformity, etc....

The biggest challenge to over come is the departments budget, change in procedures, responsibilities, new liability exposures, etc..... Believe me I deal with this everyday, sometimes the money is there but a large change like this has its challenges outside of the dollars.

As far as the Phantom3, I don't think its the best platform for LiDAR equipping - LiDAR equipment would be better suited on a more robust purpose built platform. As a hobby heck y'all I would love to have one would be fun and cool.

FYI ASPRS has a mapping demo in Reno this month - next week I think.
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Or you can use photogrammetry.

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Or you can use photogrammetry.

Interesting. Pricey software, but if the software can then convert the data points to point cloud format, it would be very useful for my purposes (open pit mine engineering).

EDIT: Watched the webinar. This could easily provide much needed pit updates. Very cool and TY for sharing.
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Two more good products there. Maps Made Easy seems focused on photo imagery and updating web-based information. The Agisoft and Pix4D products seem better at actual photogrammetric output - and a better option for my particular needs... which would be accurate, geo-referenced point cloud data that I could then import into Minesight 3D, which we use to design our pits/spoils/roads/etc.
We have our 5 local mines flown yearly at 1 meter resolution (fixed wing, manned aircraft), but we find that isn't often enough for accurate pit and stockpile reconciliation. We obviously have survey staff that use traditional survey methods as well as half a dozen ground-based Lidar scanners (MapTek), but I believe that we will very soon be adding a UAS/UAV solution.

Again, thank-you for sharing!
I have tested pix4d and you get a real nice pointcloud and you could do volymetric measurements in the program. You could test it for free for 15 days, but you will need a good autopilot app that takes the pictures in the right spots.

Maps made easy have that app and they give you a dsm as an output and when you have a dsm you could calculate the volume.
Repeatability would be key. Eventually I'd like to just work with the point cloud data and automate as much as possible. I'd create an LGO (large gridded object) from the cloud data and from there triangulate surfaces as needed. Volume calculations, etc would all be done in our mine cad software for consistency. Thanks for the info!

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