Airborne LiDAR

Airborne LiDAR

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) uses pulsed laser light to measure distances to an object, based on laser return times and waveform analysis to the LiDAR sensor. The measurements are used to create a point cloud of the object. LiDAR is typically used in airborne, mobile and terrestrial mapping applications.

Airborne LiDAR (ALS) typically involves long-range LiDAR sensors attached to aircraft to rapidly capture highly accurate 3D data of large ground areas ranging from 1,000ha to 10,000 square kilometres. Airborne LiDAR measurements can be used to create a Digital Surface Models (DSM), capturing the ground surface and all objects on it, including vegetation, buildings and infrastructure. Digital Surface Models can be used for Urban Mapping and 3D Visualisations, Corridor Mapping (Powerline, Railway and Pipeline inspection), Geomorphology applications, Precise Agriculture and Forestry mapping.

Orion utilises class leading Waveform Airborne LiDAR systems with multi-target resolution which allows the LiDAR to penetrate dense vegetation and acquire ground strikes during data capture. This LiDAR system, coupled with Orion’s Surveying skills and extensive LiDAR processing knowledge, allows us to produce survey grade Digital Terrain Models (DTM). Our processing involves classifying and filtering above ground features such as buildings and vegetation to create an accurate ground surface (DTM). Digital Terrain Models from Airborne LiDAR can be used for large scale Topography Mapping, Mine Mapping, Hydraulic/Flood Modelling, Linear Infrastructure Design.

Our LiDAR sensors can be coupled with high resolution camera systems which are calibrated to align with the LiDAR scanner head. This allows for accurate colourising of the point cloud. Other sensor heads like multispectral and thermal sensors can also be fitted to these systems for use in agricultural, construction, insurance, energy, government and vegetation management applications.

In many circumstances LiDAR and photogrammetry will be used on the same project to take advantage of the strengths of each system. The main strengths of LiDAR over photogrammetry is its ability to penetrate thicker vegetation. If the focus of the survey is a DTM and the area of interest has any vegetation cover then LiDAR will most likely deliver a more accurate terrain model.

Orion utilises Helicopters for Airborne LiDAR operations with Low Level CASA Flight approval. This allows us to efficiently and safely capture high level LiDAR data over large areas in urban and remote locations, corridor and infrastructure mapping, open-cut mine operations and agricultural and forestry applications. Our Helicopter LiDAR system allows us to operate in airspace and environments not suitable to fixed-wing aircraft or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) which are generally limited to a maximum flying altitude of 120m and strict CASA regulation. We simply can capture survey grade LiDAR data where others can’t.  

Drone LiDAR

Drone LiDAR utilises Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV/Drones) to acquire LiDAR data in hard-to-reach areas of 10 to 1,000 hectares in a cost-effective manner. This technology has only been available in recent years due to the significant reduction in size and weight of LiDAR sensors. This type of data capture is ideal for areas where photogrammetry is not viable due to vegetation cover and can be a cost-effective option when compared to traditional survey methods.  Typical applications are Topography Mapping, Mine Mapping, Volume Surveys, Hydraulic Modelling and Linear Infrastructure Design.

Airborne LiDAR Projects

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