This week the INTERGEO conference takes place: the world’s biggest conference for the geospatial industry. Drones have become such a big part of the geospatial industry that there is now a dedicated section of the show for them: INTERAERIAL Solutions focuses on aerial surveying using drones. At Intergeo today, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, DJI announced two new payloads that could take aerial surveying to the next level: an integrated Lidar drone solution and a powerful full-frame camera.
The two new payload solutions are integrated with DJI’s commercial drone platform Matrice 300 RTK. The DJI Zenmuse P1 and DJI Zenmuse L1 “are set to be game-changers for the industry, bringing more efficiency and new perspectives at an affordable cost without compromising the quality and accuracy of the data collected for precise aerial inspections and data collection missions,” says a DJI release.
“With these two new payloads, we are providing an all-integrated complete solution to our enterprise customers active in accurate geospatial data acquisition,” said Arjun Menon, Engineering Manager at DJI in the US. “Having a fully integrated capable and affordable Lidar seamlessly integrated into our best commercial drone is a dream that becomes reality for surveying, mapping and construction professionals. They will be able to see, cover and understand the geospatial context from a totally new perspective thanks to the high level of accuracy and quality of the data collected from these tools in the sky.”
Lidar technology is an important tool in aerial surveying: it’s critical for creating true-color point cloud models in areas with heavy foliage or low light. Many powerful Lidar solutions are too heavy for drones or extremely expensive, limiting the cost benefits of drone surveying over helicopters. DJI has been working on developing a lower cost, lighter weight solution, introducing solutions at AirWorks this year. The Zenmuse L1 is DJI’s first Lidar solution for aerial surveying. The L1 is “a major breakthrough in democratizing Lidar technology by being easy to use and accessible,” says the release.
The Zenmuse L1 integrates a powerful yet ultra-lightweight Livox Lidar module with a 70° FOV, a high-accuracy IMU, and a 20-megapixel camera with a 1-inch CMOS sensor and a mechanical shutter on a 3-axis stabilized gimbal. The Zenmuse L1 can generate true-color point cloud models in real-time, or acquire a vast area (up to 2 km2) of point
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