The Terra LiDAR One with Applanix Direct Georeferencing is an easy-to-use, low-cost, and high-accuracy drone-based mapping solution that addresses the challenges of an ageing workforce coupled with the need to survey a deteriorating global infrastructure.
Terra Drone is one of the world’s largest providers of industrial drone solutions for aerial survey, infrastructure inspection, and drone data processing and analysis. Terra Drone provides drone solutions in many industries and has conducted more than 1,500 drone surveys. One client is Ugo Sokki Co., a company that uses information and communications technology in rivers and roads governed by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
The use of drone technology for surveying and mapping has grown tremendously in recent years due to savings in cost and time, and by offering a simpler, more convenient solution.
Due to an ageing workforce, Japan’s construction and mapping industries have faced a decline in the working population while facing a higher demand in services to address deteriorating infrastructure. Now more than ever, it is essential to have:
A survey drone can quickly and easily produce high-resolution survey data (i.e. orthomosaic imagery, LiDAR point clouds) and detailed 3D models of areas where low-quality, outdated, or no data are currently available. High-accuracy maps and models are produced quickly and easily, even in complex or difficult-to-access environments. Costs are significantly reduced versus using traditional methods of collecting data from the ground or crewed airplanes.
To provide the best drone solutions for each application and specific project, Terra Drone developed a payload for an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) with a laser scanner and camera as part of a new, highly accurate drone solution – the Terra LiDAR One. The Terra LiDAR One solution includes the payload, UAV, and Cloud-based processing software to seamlessly generate the final map products. To ensure accuracy and efficiency, Terra Drone knew it needed a DG solution with hardware small and light enough for a UAV, yet still highly accurate and reliable with automated processing.
With this in mind, Terra Drone turned to Applanix’s DG for UAV solutions. Using the Trimble APX-15 UAV with Applanix POSPac® UAV Cloud, Terra Drone developed a lightweight LiDAR and camera payload. It provides an accurate, georeferenced map of the surveyed area which means that every bit of sensor data is geographically located to the centimetre level.
The Trimble APX-15 UAV is a single board GNSS-inertial solution specifically designed to be flown by UAVs. It is small, lightweight, and low-power. The APX-15 UAV’s data is processed using the Applanix POSPac® UAV Cloud post-processing software to automatically generate the final, highest accuracy trajectory (position and orientation) in the cloud. It also uses the POSPac® LiDAR QC Tools module to automatically boresight and adjusts the trajectory using the LiDAR data.
The result is the Terra LiDAR One, a drone solution for high-accuracy mapping that can be flown in all environments, including areas with dense vegetation and difficult-to-reach areas.