How UAV LiDAR Can Save You Money

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is an extremely accurate and reliable way to capture spatial data by measuring the time it takes for light to return from a surface back to a remote sensor. The data can be used to create three dimensional point maps that serve as the foundation for detailed maps and models. Traditionally, LiDAR has been financially inaccessible as the equipment alone could cost six figures. However, the introduction of drone technology has made it much more feasible to collect the data you need. To help you determine if it’s right for you, we’re sharing how UAV LiDAR can save you money over traditional methods of spatial data collection.

UAV LiDAR Saves Time

As you know, time is money, and because using UAV LiDAR is significantly faster than traditional methods, it allows you to increase your profits. Traditionally, LiDAR data is either collected from the air, via a helicopter or airplane or on the ground in which the scanner is placed on a tripod and used to rapidly scan the surrounding area. With ground-based data collection, the data is collected, and the scanner and equipment are moved to the next location, possibly only 50 feet, over and over. Because projects often cover hundreds or thousands of acres, this method can take months or even years to capture the data needed.

At FlyGuys, our licensed and insured pilots use high-quality, innovative sensors, including the Riegl MiniVUX which has a 200 kHz pulse repetition rate and operates at 100,000 scans per second. Our LiDAR equipped drones can scan up to 700 acres per day which is significantly faster than traditional methods. This faster method allows you to complete projects more quickly and take on more business.

Using Drones Reduces Manpower

Similar to how UAV LiDAR saves you time, it also reduces your manpower costs. By scanning 700 acres or more per day, we can quickly capture data that can be processed into high-quality deliverables and three-dimensional point clouds. Traditional methods using vehicles, tripods, or even helicopters require more people and more hours to capture less data and cover the same amount of terrain, which creates a significantly higher labor cost for your organization as opposed to using remote UAV methods.

Drones Improve Access to Challenging Areas

Often, LiDAR is used to capture data in challenging areas:

  • Areas of thick vegetation and forests
  • Areas of shallow water
  • Mining sites
  • Ranch and farm land

Because of this, ground-based data collection may not be feasible, so a helicopter or airplane would need to be sent up to capture aerial data. While they can access difficult locations, the cost may be prohibitive. Drones offer the same versatility when it comes to being able to access different areas and challenging conditions, but it can be done at a lower cost.

Industries Saving Money through UAV LiDAR

Because drones can be used to make LiDAR less expensive and more accessible, there are more industries that are able to implement these measures to get the data they need. We are seeing the biggest benefits to the following industries:
Surveying and Engineering: We assist licensed surveyors and mappers with drone data collection and/or consultation. Combining this data with traditional data collection methods saves money and time.

  • Construction: Quickly gain insight into projects, troubleshoot challenging areas, and plan your project more efficiently.
  • Energy: UAV LiDAR can aid in placing solar farms to meet usage requirements and measure wind flow for turbines to maximize efficiency.
  • Forestry: Easily determine canopy density, inspect growth and improve environmental management and land reclamation after harvesting or removing trees.
  • Agriculture: Gain information about soil properties to help you avoid areas of poor drainage or sunlight, predict yields, and maximize profits.
  • Mining: Pinpoint exactly where and how much ore and minerals there are under the surface.

Schedule a Free Consultation to Learn About Our LiDAR Services

If you need LiDAR data, FlyGuys can help. We have a nationwide network of licensed, insured drone pilots and an experienced team of project managers who can provide you with the high-quality deliverables you need at a competitive price and with a quick turnaround time. Call us at 1-888-376-6965 or fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation.