At this year’s event lidar solutions featured prominent, automated layout robots made their mark, and digital twins remained key a talking point. The most interesting discussions concerned land reallocation and big geospatial data management.
Lidar in the limelight
Walking the exhibition floors of InterGEO in Berlin this year – arguably the largest geomatics expo in the world – it is safe to say lidar is having a moment… especially lidar for drones, since these payloads are becoming lighter.
YellowScan launched a range of new lidar solutions, including its Explorer and Surveyor Ultra payloads for drones. So too did Atmos with a new lidar payload for its Marlyn drone. Acecore Technologies showed a prototype of what it says will be a sub-4 kg, C2-classified (under European drone regulations) lidar drone expected to launch next year.
Price and lidar range remain the distinguishing factors between drone lidar and manned aircraft aerial mapping systems. Even as the business case for smaller scale drone lidar capture seems to be emerging, one drone company acknowledged that it is still testing the waters with its lidar payload.
With the proliferation of lidar, integrated lidar and photogrammetry capture may become standard practice as it takes advantage of each sensor’s strengths and eliminates the need for repeat data capture with separate sensors. This is not only the case for mobile mapping and drones. Photogrammetry specialists Vexcel Imaging integrated lidar from fellow Austrian firm Riegl Laser Systems into its new Vexcel UltraCam Dragon 4.1 hybrid aerial mapping system.