Think 3D and Applanix Combine on Unique Solution for UAV-based Airborne LiDAR Mapping
Think 3D and Applanix Combine on Unique Solution for UAV-based Airborne LiDAR Mapping

The Stormbee multicopter integrated with Trimble’s AP15 promises maximum efficiency, accuracy and performance for LiDAR surveys from unmanned vehicles

Airborne survey is undergoing a revolution. Historically, LiDAR-based aerial surveys were impractical for all but the very largest unmanned systems due to the:

  • size-weight and power constraints of unmanned craft
  • requirement to measure position and orientation with very high degree of accuracy for direct georeferencing of the point cloud

Today, due to Applanix’ development of small, lightweight and low powered direct georeferencing solutions, airborne LiDAR scans from small drones are not only possible, they are practical, cost effective, highly accurate, and are excellent options for LiDAR surveys.

An Integrated Solution: The Stormbee, a Faro Focus 130 laser scanner, and the AP15

The Stormbee is a directly georeferenced UAV LiDAR solution for 3D Industrial Mapping applications, designed to collect survey grade spatial data in a significantly more cost effective and efficient way than static LiDAR.

Stormbee uses the best in 3D mapping technologies including Faro’s Focus 130 laser scanner, Trimble’s AP15 high performance GNSS/Inertial receiver, Applanix’s POSPac UAV state-of-the-art GNSS/Inertial Post-Processing software and Stormbee’s proprietary Beeflex software for LiDAR Point Cloud Generation.


Industrial applications (GNSS denied environments) pose unique challenges for laser scanning using traditional static systems, due to obstructions and poor signal environments. These issues lead to increased costs and operational time.


By using the high performance Trimble AP15 with two antenna and the Applanix post-processing software (POSPac MMS) for georeferencing the LiDAR data, Stormbee provides an accurate real-time and postmission solution for all motion variables.

Applanix DG for UAVs – designed and built for unmanned aircraft

Applanix has brought together its decades of experience in multi-frequency, multi-constellation Differential GNSS and inertial based positioning and orientation with the very best in small-form factor hardware and powerful software, to produce a DG solution for professional aerial mapping on UAVs.


With a system delivering better than 5 cm accuracy (RMS) and high resolution. Stormbee and Applanix offer unequaled 3D detail from a platform moving at speeds up to 15 m/s. The Stormbee leverages Applanix’s decades of experience in Direct Georeferencing of LiDAR systems to collect the most accurate 3D data.


  • Compact, Easy-to-Operate and Cost-Effective
  • Centimeter Level Mobile Positioning Accuracy for 3D Mapping Products
  • Improved Productivity — with optimized workflow from data capture to georeferenced point cloud generation
  • Superior Visualization —LiDAR scanners provide more accurate information of structures than camera technologies

About Think 3D

Think 3D, a Belgian company, is a market leader in 3D scanning for many industrial applications including those in the beverage, steel, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, tank terminals industries, etc. Think3D helps companies make changes to their installations by providing a full 3D CAD model of their installation. Stormbee to date has proven to be effective in many industries including mining, engineering, dredging, forensics, universities, and survey.

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