Drone LIDAR/Imagery Sensor: True View Subscription Program

Author: Lewis Graham
Published On: October 21, 2019

Drone LIDAR/Imagery Sensor Subscription Option

Most of you know that the True View 410 drone LIDAR/Imaging sensor (we call this a 3D Imaging Sensor or 3DIS) is available under a subscription offering.  This program is becoming very popular so I thought I would take this opportunity to provide a summary of how we have implemented this service as well as discuss several ways we have made this program easy for you to deploy.

Figure 1: True View 410 3DIS data of spillway bridge, Lake Overcup, Arkansas

True View 410 Capabilities

Recall from previous articles that the True View 410 is a self-contained laser scanner/dual camera imaging system that produces stunningly realistic 3D colorized point clouds.  See Figure 1 for an example of some data recently collected by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission when testing the True View 410 for dam inspections.  The True View 410 does not connect electrically to the drone at all so it can be deployed on any platform that:

  • has the ability to give a reasonable duration flight (say at least 15 minutes) with a 2.25 kg payload
  • provides an unobstructed 120° field of view (FOV) of the ground (so if you are using a rotary wing system, it is good to have one that can raise the landing gear out of the FOV)
  • can fly at 5 meters per second (5 m/s) or slower to provide adequate ground point density

The ideal platform for the True View 410 is the DJI M600 drone (which you can purchase from GeoCue if you reside in North America).  This drone, bar none, has the highest return on investment for moderate payload weights of any drone currently on the market.  However, the True View 410 is not married to this drone; we can accommodate nearly anything that meets the above listed criteria.

Figure 2: True View 410 carried by the DJI M600 Platform

Explore Drone LIDAR at Low Risk and Low Cost

Our subscription service provides low cost, low risk access to the True View 410 under a pay-as-you-fly model.  We have recently reduced the minimum commitment to 1 month and added free training at our Huntsville (Madison) Alabama location. 

How it Works

Under the subscription model, you pay for flight minutes of system usage with a minimum monthly monetary commitment.  We refer to these flight minutes as "kinematic minutes" or kinmin for short.  To give you a feel for this, an average 50-acre high density topographic mapping data collection with a True View 410 sensor on an M600 drone will require about 24 kinmins (this includes all time in the air, not just the data collection flight lines).  Kinmins under a subscription plan are purchased with True View Points.  The price, in True View Points, per kinmin depends on the referencing strategy used for the positioning system; local base, Applanix SmartBase or Trimble PP-RTX.

Under the Subscription plan, you receive everything you need to turn an M600 drone (not included in the subscription) into a True View mapping platform, including all post-processing software and the mounting kit.  Each subscription, regardless of length, includes 3,250 True View Points (valid for 1 month or until consumed) per month.  Using a local base station as the positioning reference for the True View 410 (the most common method of referencing), 3,250 True View Points will purchase 500 kinmins of collection time.  This will provide sufficient time to perform about 20 topographic mapping projects of 50 acres each per month.

The subscriptions, currently available in the USA and Canada, are available in three "sizes":

  • 1 month
  • 3 month
  • 12 month 

The subscription price per month decreases with increasing commitment.  Of course, you are not limited to the base number of monthly True View Point included with the subscription; you can purchase additional True View Points at any time.  These purchased points never expire.

Free Drone LIDAR/Imagery True View 410 Training 

Entering into a True View 410 subscription requires system and workflow training, of course.  I am pleased to announce that we are now offering a two-day free training program at our Huntsville offices on a monthly basis.  This makes it very easy to introduce True View 3D imaging to your services portfolio.  Just send the staff who will be using the system to our office for training.  They will return with the sensor kit, software and training necessary to be immediately productive. 

NOTE:  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the True View monthly training is currently (this is being written in early April of 2020) is offered via web.  Please contact us for details. 

I am very excited about our True View 410 subscription program.  I think we have addressed all your objections to testing the waters of drone LIDAR mapping.  To reserve your system and training slot, drop an email to [email protected].