What is aerial survey

Aerial survey is the gathering of geospatial data from an aerial platform. This can be from a plane or drone, however, due to advancements in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), drones have become very popular for collecting this data. In order to gather accurate information it takes a lot of engineering and mathematics to ensure that the highest level of accuracy is achieved.

Why use lidar with aerial survey?

Lidar stands for light detection and ranging. It uses laser light as a transmitter and a receiver to create digital elevation models (DEM). These DEMs will show topographical features such as hills, water surfaces etc. For lidars used on UAVS, there are two types: those with rotating lasers and those with fixed lasers. With rotating lasers, a 360 degree scan of the area can be obtained but at a much slower rate than fixed lidar scanners. UAV lidars with fixed beams allow for faster speed and precision mapping, however, come at a higher cost.

What equipment should I use for aerial survey?

You can use a Scanlift 800 UAV, which already comes with the Surveyor 32 lidar. These are very stable platforms for taking aerial photographs and videos, making them an optimal choice if you want both your lidar and camera to be mounted on the same craft.

What are some examples of aerial survey?

There are many GIS applications that require mapping from an overhead perspective. Some examples include: high-resolution topographic mapping, hydrological modeling, precision forestry, yield monitoring in agriculture etc. Another application is using aerial surveys as a way to create 3D models of large areas, mostly for urban planning and architecture.

How accurate is aerial survey?

The accuracy depends on the quality, resolution and number lines that are being collected. With how quickly unmanned aerial vehicles are advancing in technology, the accuracy will continue to improve with time. Current error rates are approximately 2-5 centimeters per kilometer by using static lidar mapping. The use of GPS coordinates further reduce this margin of error by having sub-meter accuracies.

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