Riegl, an Austrian-based laser scanning firm, is urging the UAV market to better understand the benefits of LiDAR systems in 2019.
Speaking exclusively to CDP at the Commercial UAV Show in London last week, Philipp Amon, business division manager for unmanned laser scanning, described how LiDAR was important in the UAV market as it can do things photogrammetry cannot.
He said: “Seeing existing and new clients this week has allowed us to showcase to them what sensors we have new on the market and highlight how important it is to get LiDAR into the UAV industry because still a lot of people talk about photogrammetry.”
He explained: “Of course photogrammetry is good, it has its purpose, but LiDAR is essential, especially if you think about vegetation mapping, forestry and even to detect wires for power lines it is impossible to do it with photogrammetry. To do this you have to fly low altitude and low speed but if you do it with LiDAR you can detect it clearly and hit the ground surface easier.”
Amon and his company are also looking forward to bringing forward the newly-introduced VQ840G sensor to market next year following its pre-release announcement at Intergeo last month.
Speaking on the company’s plans for the next 12 months, he said: “Actually, we have a huge product portfolio for the UAV market and next year we will be focusing on bathymetric sensors and our newly introduced VQ840G which was introduced a couple of weeks ago at Intergeo.”
He continued: “We need to manufacture first before we can release it properly next year and we are looking forward to getting this sensor on the market. We have done a proof on concept in the last couple of years and previously, our bathymetric profiler provided you with profiles and lines from the UAV measuring through water but now we are looking at our VQ840G which provides you with laser scan data from a specific field of view where you can not only get a profile but you can get a full range of point clouds, green LiDAR data and infra-red LiDAR which gives you the topographic measurements from water and water penetration.
He added: “It is a very niche market but it is definitely going to be there because of climate change and this can really reduce the cost because now everything is done using big UAVs or even manned aircraft and the cost involved in that is huge and we want to bring it down by using UAVs where we can install sensors on fixed wing or multi-rotor UAVs to be less expensive.”
Amon was pleased with the quality of attendees at this year’s Commercial UAV Show, held at the ExCeL in London and felt the exhibition had a real international feel, with industry professionals attending from around the world.
Commenting on how the show went for Riegl, he said: “Really good, great actually. We have seen quite a lot of interest in our products, the products we already have and also the products we introduced a couple of weeks ago specifically for the UAV industry.
“And of course we have met new clients but we have also seen a lot of existing clients from both the UK market and international market which is good. We have met customers from Europe, from South America from South Africa from even America and Australia, it really is an international show here.”