Drone LIDAR True View Training Down Under for C.R. Kennedy
Author: Martin Flood
Published On: October 22, 2019
True View Delivery to C.R. Kennedy
I had the privilege of spending a week at the beginning of October in Brisbane, Australia delivering two True View 410 units to our regional distributor C.R. Kennedy & Company. C.R. Kennedy is the solutions provider for the surveying, construction, mining, mapping and wider geospatial industries in Australia and the region. Their product portfolio includes land surveying equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's), high definition 3D scanners, machine control, mobile mapping tools, underground service locators, ground penetrating radar, geospatial information systems (GIS) and an extensive array of software packages to suit the application needs of their customers. C.R. Kennedy have previously partnered with us on our Loki PPK DGPS photogrammetry system with great success, so it is no surprise they have added the new True View 410 3D Imaging sensor to their portfolio. Their True View delivery included dealer training for the sales reps and two days of local field trials.
The training was a good example of the ease of use and simplicity of the True View design and workflow. With no previous experience with True View, the team was flying and processing data from their own project sites by Wednesday afternoon. They did already know how to fly the M600 however! The core concepts in the workflow, from mission planning to outputting a colorized point cloud, are covered in a single training session. Having the full data processing workflow integrated into the LP360 core toolbox makes the process easy to learn and seamless in practice. We also used the new subscription model of True View that allows for on-demand cloud processing of the INS solution via Applanix' POSPac Cloud service. This significantly reduces the up-front cost of the units.
Mobile Scanning Limitations
The first day of field trials consisted of flights over C.R. Kennedy' local test site. The focus was on implementing the necessary flight planning and in-air initialization maneuvers for the on-board INS system (Applanix APX-15). The second day consisted of a flight over a more challenging site of interest to a local survey firm. The firm has been using mobile scanning to perform highway surveys but was having difficulties in areas where the shoulder of the road drops off rapidly to heavily forested and hilly terrain.
Advantages of Drone LIDAR
When driving the routes, the mobile scanners did not have effective line-of-sight into these areas. A supplementary survey using UAV LIDAR was being considered. The pilot project with the 410 demonstrated this was indeed a very good method to address areas such as this in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Post-Processing Collected Data
Note the ground classification for the project - the bare earth extraction from the full point cloud - was done directly in True View EVO as well, eliminating the need to move to another software package for this critical step in the data workflow.
Although not part of the pilot project, the test flight also demonstrated the True View 410's value in capturing colorized point clouds directly and its ability to map linear features that would be difficult for a photogrammetric survey to detect. Features such as telephone poles and wires were captured at the edge of the survey area even though scanned at a relatively oblique view angle. Note the colorization here is from True View EVO's colorization algorithm allowing for RGB values to be assigned based on a 3D ray trace as opposed to a more traditional 2D colorization from an orthoimage. This allows the sides of features to be colorized effectively in addition to the top surfaces seen from the aerial viewpoint.
C.R. Kennedy is now rolling out their True View 410 launch in Australia and New Zealand and the region. They have demonstration flights planned at various locations; please contact them at [email protected] for more information.