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Cheapest drone LiDAR and photogrammetry?

Ecology Mapper
(@ecology-mapper)
FNG Member

Is the DJI Matrice 300 RTK drone frame and DJI Zenmuse L1 sensor the cheapest drone LiDAR solution on the market? What would also be a relatively cheap photogrammetry camera/sensor for the M300RTK? Does the H20 do photogrammetry, or only the P1? 

Very new to this, apologies in advance

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Topic starter Posted : September 6, 2021 8:54 am
PKM04558
(@pkm04558)
FNG Member

The M300RTK with the L1 would be the most affordable sUAS LIDAR solution you can launch.  The P1 is the preferred mapping camera.  The H20 is not intended for mapping.  In terms of pricing the L1 solution would be like a high end robot and the P1 would be like a entry level robot.  And then you need software to make sense of it all. 

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Posted : October 27, 2021 6:17 am
GMPLS
(@gmpls)
200+ posts Member

Unfortunately both the L1 and P1 are back ordered for a very long time. 

I've been researching the cheaper lidar units and it seems there are more accurate options that do better under the trees than the L1 for a few thousand dollars more. This statement is not based on personal experience. 

Gregg

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Posted : October 28, 2021 4:30 am

Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @pkm04558

And then you need software to make sense of it all. 

And that my friends seems to be a big issue.

From what I read.

N

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Posted : October 28, 2021 5:20 am
Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @pkm04558

And then you need software to make sense of it all. 

And that my friends seems to be a big issue.

From what I read.

N

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Posted : October 28, 2021 5:21 am
WA-ID Surveyor
(@wa-id-surveyor)
500+ posts Member
Posted by: @nate-the-surveyor
Posted by: @pkm04558

And then you need software to make sense of it all. 

And that my friends seems to be a big issue.

From what I read.

N

Not only the software, but the ability to use the software!

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Posted : October 28, 2021 7:16 am
BushAxe liked

Bruce Small
(@bruce-small)
1,000+ posts Member

And a laptop/PC with a terabyte or so of storage.

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Posted : October 28, 2021 7:27 am
leegreen
(@leegreen)
1,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @gmpls

Unfortunately both the L1 and P1 are back ordered for a very long time. 

I've been researching the cheaper lidar units and it seems there are more accurate options that do better under the trees than the L1 for a few thousand dollars more. This statement is not based on personal experience. 

Gregg

Gregg,

Can you share your experience with other models that you speak of?

 

Nate & Bruce,

The drone processing software is pretty straightforward. The most common to choose from are Pix4d and AgiSoft. There are online services that you send the imagery and GCP data via the cloud and they will post-process the imagery into an ortho and point cloud for you. So no need for a high-end laptop, I would not process on a laptop. You may burn it up, as the processing uses every available hardware resource (CPU, RAM, GPU) maxing it out for hours. Which can toast a laptop without proper cooling. I suggest a desktop with many cores (such as 32 cores), if processing the data yourself. The part that comes with experience is the drone pre-flight setup, GNSS settings, GEOID, GCP's, AGL, overlaps, light conditions, obstructions, and FAA rules. Then the process to go from point cloud to CAD, DEM, DTM and other deliverables will be the most challenging process for newbies.

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Posted : October 28, 2021 7:47 am
Jitterboogie
(@jitterboogie)
1,000+ posts Supporter
Posted by: @ecology-mapper

...the cheapest drone LiDAR solution on the market? What would also be a relatively cheap photogrammetry.... 

I'm biased and becoming a pariah here, but these terms bother me.

There's a cost associated to quality data collection, and cheap isn't part of that.

Less expensive solutions exist for the consumer grade toys, that for some people and companies seem to be adequate.

When I worked for an intl imagery collection and processing company, we could collect and provide solutions for reasonable cost, and that depended on the GSD  the types of sensors, and esp the area and location.

We literally had millions of dollars in just software licenses, and then to costs of aircraft, company Enterprise computer platform etc.

Before you try to get a savings on the cheap, look into the areas you're working in and with. I know we collected and provided huge data sets that were commissioned by the state govt  and federal sometimes that were released to the gen pop because they paid for it with their taxes. And that was incredible data down to 3cm GSD, oblique, and even multispectral data to boot.

See what you can find for free, if it's adequate, and if not scrounge up some of the full time only doing aerial data collection companies because they're not too expensive depending on what you're looking for.

Good luck.

 

That's my $0.12 USD.

 

 

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Posted : October 28, 2021 7:49 am

Bruce Small
(@bruce-small)
1,000+ posts Member

@leegreen  How long does it take to send that data to the cloud, assuming a fast connection.

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Posted : October 28, 2021 11:14 am
leegreen
(@leegreen)
1,000+ posts Member

With high speed cable modem about 15 to 20 minutes to upload a project with 400 photos. 

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Posted : October 28, 2021 4:19 pm
dmyhill
(@dmyhill)
1,000+ posts Supporter
Posted by: @jitterboogie
Posted by: @ecology-mapper

...the cheapest drone LiDAR solution on the market? What would also be a relatively cheap photogrammetry.... 

I'm biased and becoming a pariah here, but these terms bother me.

There's a cost associated to quality data collection, and cheap isn't part of that.

Less expensive solutions exist for the consumer grade toys, that for some people and companies seem to be adequate.

See what you can find for free, if it's adequate, and if not scrounge up some of the full time only doing aerial data collection companies because they're not too expensive depending on what you're looking for.

Good luck.

 

That's my $0.12 USD.

 

 

Almost all the software out there allows for a free demo. I would highly suggest looking at Carlson's solution. It is straightforward and cloud based. It is also extremely reasonably priced, IMHO.

You can also do it through ACAD's cloud services, I believe.

The reason for "cheap" is that if you do it every day, the cost becomes less relevant. If you are adding it as a tool for use once or twice a month, then the costs need to be "cheaper". That is why the cloud and solutions like Carlson make sense, if you use more you pay more.

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Posted : October 28, 2021 4:48 pm

dmyhill
(@dmyhill)
1,000+ posts Supporter
Posted by: @jitterboogie

See what you can find for free, if it's adequate, and if not scrounge up some of the full time only doing aerial data collection companies because they're not too expensive depending on what you're looking for.

Good luck.

 

That's my $0.12 USD.

This is good advice. Paying a pilot to fly and get the imagery isn't too much more expensive than paying a field crew to fly a drone for a day. 

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Posted : October 28, 2021 4:50 pm
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