A LIGHT-WEIGHT LASER SCANNER FOR UAV APPLICATIONS
Keywords: Light-weight scanner, LiDAR, Point Cloud
Abstract. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have been recognized as a tool for geospatial data acquisition due to their flexibility and favourable cost benefit ratio. The practical use of laser scanning devices on-board UAVs is also developing with new experimental and commercial systems. This paper describes a light-weight laser scanning system composed of an IbeoLux scanner, an Inertial Navigation System Span-IGM-S1, from Novatel, a Raspberry PI portable computer, which records data from both systems and an octopter UAV. The performance of this light-weight system was assessed both for accuracy and with respect to point density, using Ground Control Points (GCP) as reference. Two flights were performed with the UAV octopter carrying the equipment. In the first trial, the flight height was 100 m with six strips over a parking area. The second trial was carried out over an urban park with some buildings and artificial targets serving as reference Ground Control Points. In this experiment a flight height of 70 m was chosen to improve target response. Accuracy was assessed based on control points the coordinates of which were measured in the field. Results showed that vertical accuracy with this prototype is around 30 cm, which is acceptable for forest applications but this accuracy can be improved using further refinements in direct georeferencing and in the system calibration.