February 10-12, 2025  |  Colorado Convention Center   |  Denver, CO, USA

Close this search box.
Session Details

Aevex Aerospace Lidar

Reaching New Heights in UAS Surveying

Feb 13 2024

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM MT

Mile High Ballroom 3-4

As the drone and UAS industry continues to mature, so do the workflows and applications for UAVs in reality capture, as-built conditions and more. Hear from industry specialists who have been using UAVs to go beyond the basics – from complex inspections to utilizing emerging technologies like AI to get more out of every mapping flight. 

A Technology Comparison using RTK GNSS, Drone Photogrammetry and Drone Lidar to complete a Golf Course As-Built Survey
Tasked with creating a golf course feature and irrigation digital as-built map, I used a combination of RTK GNSS/iPad/Field Maps with a DJI M300 RTK drone flying a 45mp photogrammetry camera and the DJI Zenmuse L1 lidar sensor.  The purpose of using three high-accuracy tools was to determine which one (or combination of them) was optimal to produce the deliverable. The deliverable was a digital as-built map of golf features and the irrigation system.

The site was about 220 acres. Over 1,500 RTK GNSS shots were taken. The drone was flown twice; once with the 45mp photogrammetry camera and once with the lidar sensor.

Erik Gakstatter, Discovery Management Group

SLAM-Powered: The Future of Survey Mapping
Over the past decade, autonomous robots have become more widely used in underground operations to map dangerous areas while keeping survey teams out of harm’s way. These powerful platforms can intelligently navigate complex, dynamic environments without a pilot in the loop. However, the true power of autonomy doesn’t end when the robot lands.

When these autonomous robots are in flight, tons of computational resources are used to detect and avoid obstacles and hazards to gather a complete map of an unknown environment. But while not in flight, the same algorithm can be supercharged to focus on improving map quality, geo-referencing with previously known ground control points, or colorizing the point cloud with RGB data.

These are the major differences between online and offline SLAM – or Simultaneous Localization And Mapping, the core algorithm that powers GPS-denied autonomous robots. These capabilities make SLAM systems incredibly robust and capable of tackling mapping missions where traditional survey methods would fail, which adds a powerful tool to the surveyor toolkit for quickly and easily capturing accurate point clouds. This presentation will walk through some of the most recent advances in SLAM-powered autonomy and address the industry-wide need for standardizing levels of autonomy for broader understanding and adoption.

Sean Bowman, Exyn Technologies

Groundbreaking Drone, Survey and Lidar Operations to Inform Design and Transform the Trans-Canyon Water Line and North Rim Utilities Projects
Grand Canyon National Park in Northern Arizona is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It encompasses an impressive 278 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands and averages over ten miles wide. The Trans-Canyon Water Line – the source of water for thousands of permanent residents and millions of visitors annually – is due for replacement. To support this effort, we worked on two separate infrastructure projects: the Roaring Springs to Cottonwood pipeline project and North Rim utilities project (wastewater treatment facility and water tanks, overhead power system/pole inspection and pumphouse).

We leveraged drones (the first-ever commercial drone operations within the canyon), survey and lidar to capture high-resolution orthomosaic imagery, point cloud data, digital surface models, video and still images. We will cover how we utilized these deliverables for our engineering, environmental, geotechnical and inspection work. We also developed a digital twin of the four areas and will showcase examples of each product. Learn how we enhanced this project with extended context and precise data by leveraging a more comprehensive view of the built and natural world – and what better place to do this than in the Grand Canyon.

Carlos Femmer, HDR Engineering Inc.

Long Range Drones – Alternative to Traditional Aviation?
With recent advancements in UAS (unmanned aerial systems) technologies and how FAA regulations are being applied, drones are quickly becoming a viable alternative to traditional aviation for large-area data collection.  Today’s drones are now capable of flying for hours versus minutes, and recent accomplishments have shown that drone crews are capable of tackling hundreds of miles in a single day of operation.  This presentation will provide attendees a deep dive on:

• The benefits of UAS-acquired data over manned aviation, such as safety and improved data quality

• What technology and regulatory advancements made this possible

• What is needed to add this as a capability either via a contractor or in-house services

• Limitations of UAS and where manned aviation is preferred

• A look into the future with technologies such as drone-in-the-box, and what that might mean to mapping

Jake Lahmann, Valmont Industries


Session Moderator

GeoCue Group


Exyn Technologies

HDR Engineering, Inc.

Discovery Management Group

Valmont Industries

© Diversified Communications. All rights reserved.