North Carolina SDC is using drone LiDAR technology instead of total stations for surveying

drone surveying

Traditionally, the documentation of as-built construction surveys has relied on traditional methods such as total stations and digital photogrammetry. However, the team at Spatial Data Consultants (SDC), a specialist geospatial consulting firm in High Point, North Carolina, is using drone LiDAR technology to more efficiently create accurate and precise as-built surveying

Mark Schall, owner and chief professional officer of Spatial Data Consultants, explains how the company transitioned from using manned fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft to drone surveying systems. "Originally, the company was based on traditional photogrammetry techniques using fixed-wing and helicopters," Schall said. “We’ve now transitioned to drones and UAS systems for all of our lidar and photogrammetry. One of the things we’re proud of is the level, competence and expertise of our people, like our current UAS service director, Fred Johnson ."

SDC is first using drone LiDAR to conduct experiments for the new entrance to High Point University in North Carolina. They first created the LiDAR point cloud with the drone, and Fred went through the planning process for the as-built survey,

For the second time, the SDC team set up and performed a corridor survey mission at High Point University's new entrance. "We decided to do the hallway mission because the main focus was on a new path to the campus," Johnson explained. "I want all the details needed for the as-built survey to be clearly visible in my point cloud and photography." Utilizing the mdLiDAR3000 from Microdrones' professional drone line, SDC will be able to provide plan measurements, topographic features and other building structures to ensure All improvements to Panther Drive are built to original design specifications. However, during the completion survey, the team encountered some unexpected challenges with surface traffic and open roads.

Finally Fred processed the data to visualize the project's utilities, structures and other architectural features in a LiDAR point cloud. Using mdInfinity, a complete software solution for Drone LiDAR, and other 3-party software, Johnson will see if he can successfully create an as-built survey and deliver the project.

About Spatial Data Consultants

Spatial Data Consultants, Inc. (SDC) is a Small Business Enterprise (SBE); Small Professional Services Firm (SPFF); North Carolina Corporation; headquartered in High Point, North Carolina, a responsible full-service professional organization, Specializing in a variety of photogrammetry, surveying, remote sensing and GIS related services. Established in 1996, SDC aims to meet the unique and specific requirements of each potential client, providing attentive service while emphasizing the quality of planning and products, as well as sound management and consulting.

Multi-Rotor drone lidar for surveying

drone surveying

FlyDragon GLQ-A lidar system is specially designed for small-scale surveying and mapping of multi-rotor drones, integrates Quanergy M8 Ultra laser scanner, 20 million pixel mini camera, Applanix inertial navigation system and intelligent system control unit. It is mounted on various multi-rotor aircraft to directly obtain high-definition three-dimensional data. GLQ-A is suitable for applications such as low-altitude, small-area or strip-shaped rapid acquisition of high-precision terrain, accurate three-dimensional models, and power channel inspections.

drone surveying

Typical application:
Power line inspection
Small area fast 3D modeling
Topographic Mapping of Vegetation Covered Area
Precision Agriculture Topographic Mapping
Fast and accurate earthwork calculation
Establishment of digital archives of historical and cultural sites
Other corridor mapping

Wavelength: Near infrared
Laser beam divergence angle: 3mrad
Ranging: 0.5-200 meters
Scanning angle: 360 degrees (adjustable)
Pulse frequency: 400khz
Laser dot density: more than 100 dots/square
Pitch/roll angle accuracy: 0.025
Heading angle accuracy: 0.08
Data update rate: 200Hz
Post-processing positioning accuracy: 2cm-5cm
Control system: win 10GL
Storage capacity: 128G
Sensor: CMOS APS-C
Resolution: 20 million pixels
Maximum scanning bandwidth: 200m
Working voltage: 24V
Maximum power consumption: 40W
Size: 218mm*154mm*119mm
Weight: 2kg
Working temperature: -20℃-60℃
Storage temperature: -40℃-70℃