Siteco, perhaps best known for their Road-Scanner mobile mapping system, has entered the UAV market with the Sky-Scanner LiDAR system.
The company touts the scanner as a product that “fills the gap between the low-cost low-altitude photogrammetry approach of current UAV systems, and the more complex and expensive LiDAR systems typically deployed on manned fixed and rotary wing aircraft.”
As for specs, the system is comparable to other UAV LiDAR solutions. It weighs 3.5kg including batteries. Its sensor payload is a Velodyne VLP-16 LiDAR sensor, a 16-20MP camera for orthophotos, and an Applanix AP-15 inertial navigation system.
It has been tested at 5 hours flight time, and has verified accuracies of ±5 cm on regular surfaces (roads, walls), and ±8 cm on natural ground with vegetation.
Siteco’s official release emphasizes that the Sky-Scanner can be mounted on “any mid-range UAV” and this may prove to be one of its major selling points. The device has been successfully used with the DJI-S1000 and DJI-Matrice-600 drones.
“We have seen many companies offering LiDAR and imaging solutions, but none have been able to deliver the data quality at a price required by our partners.” said ing. Augusto Burchi, Siteco’s CEO in a prepared statement. “The Sky-Scanner is the first such light, compact and cost effective system deployable on a wide variety of commercially available UAVs.”
Siteco has not announced a price for the system.
Though the UAV LiDAR market is still relatively new, Sky-Scanner joins a growing stable of options that should allow most UAV users to find a solution that is fit for their particular purpose.