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Embedded OnyxScan LIDAR technology on drone

Scanning LiDAR with OnyxScan and OnyxStar FOX drone

Light Detection and Ranging (more commonly called LIDAR) is a laser-based remote sensing technology. It is widely used in the domain of geographical information system (GIS) for surveying and mapping natural resources and infrastructures.

Section of a forest scanned by LiDAR

LIDAR is well known in the domain of producing high-resolution maps in remote sensing, atmospheric sensing, geomatics, geography, geomorphology, archeology, forestry, contour mapping, laser altimetry, geographic informatics.

OnyxStar FOX with OnyxScan LiDAR embedded ready for take-off
OnyxStar FOX with OnyxScan LiDAR embedded

More generally the LIDAR technology is used in a great number of sciences related to geomatics, which are relying on high accuracy definition of terrestrial three-dimensional points position combined with an extremely precise & faithful calculation of the distances and angles between them.

One of the specific features of the LIDAR is that it can penetrate the vegetation, and “see” what is underneath. Thanks to the echoes of the LIDAR embedded on our UAV, a portion of the high frequency light pulses (that the multi-echo LIDAR sends to the surface of the earth), go through the vegetation and reach the ground. The reflection of these pulses is captured by the LIDAR allowing to reveal objects that are under the flora.

Since a decade, the LIDAR technology has proven its efficiency and the market needs are steadily increasing. However, LIDAR systems are heavy (usually from 20 to 100 kg) and currently operate from manned planes or helicopters. Due to the high costs of such aircraft operations, this kind of sensors are not cost efficient and thus not attractive for small-area surveying (of less than 100 hectares).

Point cloud of a forest scanned by airborne LiDAR on drone
Point cloud of a forest scanned by airborne LiDAR on drone

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are also a highly dynamic growing sector, with the undeniable advantages of cost reduction compared to helicopters, eliminating the risk of endangering human lives in some cases, and the speed of implementation.

The OnyxScan is an efficient, compact and ultra-lightweight LiDAR system. It was designed for users in order to make its use on field as easy and smooth as possible. It generates high quality data and can be easily installed on a drone or small aircraft.

The OnyxScan and OnyxStar FOX drone combination is an ideal complete solution for airborne LiDAR scanning. Data accuracy is ensured thanks to embedded sensors included a GNSS receiver providing cm-level positioning information. 

Airborne LiDAR scanning - Forest point cloud with vegetation filtered
Airborne LiDAR scanning – Forest point cloud with vegetation filtered

The above animation comes from a forest scanning allowing to see the relief under vegetation.

Contact us for more information about this OnyxStar FOX and LiDAR drone solution.

Discover also our compact XENA drone with its OnyxScan LiDAR embedded.

OnyxStar FOX drone with OnyxScan LiDAR performing aerial topography mission
OnyxStar FOX drone with OnyxScan LiDAR performing aerial topography mission