Geo Week News

May 8, 2012

A new kind of airborne lidar

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HOUSTON – Everyone knows how you put together an airborne lidar system, right? You get a plan, strap on maybe a million dollars worth of equipment, and start scanning. Or maybe you use a helicopter. 

How about a parachute plane? And what if scanning/IMU/GPS/video equipment only cost about $132k to get you started?

That’s the new paradigm with which attendees at SPAR International were presented last month thanks to Lidar USA and Pictaio, who had on display a two-person, open-frame parachute plane with an attached Lidar USA ScanLook, which combines a Velodyne HDL32E scanner, a Faro Focus3D, IMU, GPS, and video camera. 

The additional benefit of the ScanLook is that it’s not married to the parachute plane. It can be quickly detached and reattached to a truck, four-wheeler, boat, or what have you. Further, the Faro can be removed from the unit and attached to a tripod for static scanning applications. 

To talk further about the applications and implications of such a product, I caught up with Lidar USA founder Jeff Fagerman and Pictaio president Chris Lord to talk about the companies’ technology and plans further:


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