Geo Week News

October 11, 2016

RIEGL Goes Small with miniVUX1-UAV LiDAR

RIEGL's mini UAV sensor

At this year’s Intergeo expo in Hamburg, RIEGL announced three new LiDAR products. It may be the smallest of the set, the miniVUX-1UAV LiDAR, that draws the biggest attention.

The miniVUX-1UAV LiDAR is an entry-level, miniaturized addition to RIEGL line of VUX sensors for unmanned LiDAR-scanning operations. At only 1.6kg, the miniVUX-1UAV weighs less than half as much as its older sibling, the VUX-1UAV, which weighs in at 3.5 kg. It is also much smaller, with dimensions of 242 x 99 x 85 mm. This size and weight makes it easier to mount on UAVs with limited payload size and weight, and could extend battery life on larger UAV systems.

The sensor is designed for easy integration with RIEGL’s RiCOPTER UAV, but RIEGL says the aluminum housing is ready to be mounted on any kind of UAV, including fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and multi-rotor airframes.

The miniVUX1-UAV on a RiCOPTER

The miniVUX1-UAV on a RiCOPTER

The sensor does not include an integrated IMU, but offers a mechanical and electrical interface for mounting one.

As for specs, the system boasts a 360° field of view, 100,000 measurements per second, and an accuracy of 15 mm. RIEGL rates the sensor for a maximum operating altitude of 100 m (or 330 ft).

Unusual among RIEGL’s VUX sensors, the miniVUX-1UAV offers multi-target capability, with up to five target echoes per laser shot. It also operates at a wavelength that makes it particularly useful for mapping snowy and icy terrain.

RIEGL says that typical applications will include construction-site monitoring, glacier and snowfield mapping, landslide monitoring, agriculture & forestry, and archaeology/cultural heritage documentation.

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