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What is best LiDAR Drone? Anyone used the Zenmuse L1?

Mike Horton
(@mike-a-horton)
10+ posts Vendor

I am interested to purchase a RTK+LiDAR drone for scanning road and off-road areas where we frequently test in order to quickly create and annotate decent localized 3D models.  Would like decent accuracy, ~10cm level, but most important is a simple, easy work flow without too big an investment.  Maybe $30K range if possible?

Are there any suggestions or experiences for good products?  

It looks like DJI has the Zenmuse L1 coming which I assume will be reasonably priced, but I am not sure it is a real product yet.  Has anyone seen it / used it?  I am already familiar with flying DJI machines, so this is one plus.

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Topic starter Posted : February 11, 2021 9:03 am
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Norman Oklahoma
(@norman-oklahoma)
5,000+ posts Member

There were a couple of presentations about drones in the recent PLSO conference. Lidar was mentioned. The message I got was that it is possible, but you need a very powerful bird to lift the sensor and the sensors are very expensive. It may not be economically viable just yet except, perhaps, for very specific uses.  But in a couple more years....

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Posted : February 11, 2021 9:17 am
StLSurveyor
(@stlsurveyor)
1,000+ posts Supporter

You should be able to achieve those levels of accuracy with your el cheapo COTS drone for about 1200 bucks. the UAS LiDAR unit I fly is about 65k for the bird, 5k for the camera, and 250k for the LiDAR sensor. 

I would be skeptical of a DJI brand LiDAR for 30k.

Just my 0.02

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Posted : February 11, 2021 12:32 pm

flyin solo
(@flyin-solo)
1,000+ posts Supporter

i recently hired a firm to fly a 400 acre tract w/lidar.  ran all kinds of random checks across it, on foot and atv, and the stuff was uniformly within .10' to my network (and a few robotic) shots.

i don't remember what the specifics of their drone- i think it was juiced up phantom 4, but remember him telling me they were in it for no more than 10K.  

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Posted : February 11, 2021 2:58 pm
Jonathan50
(@jonathan50)
100+ posts Member

Your required accuracy of 10cm means that some points on the road surface would not be smooth? Or can you smooth it out through software?

The RTK Z accuracy itself would be +/- 2-3 cm.

 

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Posted : February 11, 2021 3:06 pm
Mike Horton
(@mike-a-horton)
10+ posts Vendor

@flyin-solo wow, that sounds ideal.

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Topic starter Posted : February 11, 2021 6:49 pm

Murphy
(@murphy)
500+ posts Member

If you plan on doing work on Fed sites or infrastructure inspection make sure you follow the developing DoD blacklisting of DJI.  As I understand it, certain US manufacturers are no longer allowed to sell components to Chinese based DJI, who represents 70% of the drone market.  Apparently the Chinese Communist Party has been strong arming DJI into providing them with back door access to data.  Also, DJI seems to be aiding the CCP in their horrific abuses of the Wegers. 

Is anyone aware of a non-Chinese drone manufacturer?  I 

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Posted : February 12, 2021 2:58 am
StLSurveyor
(@stlsurveyor)
1,000+ posts Supporter

@murphy There are numerous non-Chinese manufactures. These are ones that I have flown...Skyfront, FreeFly Systems, Skydio, Parrot

Here is a big list:

https://www.modalai.com/pages/us-drone-manufacturers

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Posted : February 12, 2021 3:09 am
Murphy
(@murphy)
500+ posts Member

@stlsurveyor

 

Thank you!  

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Posted : February 12, 2021 3:15 am

dmyhill
(@dmyhill)
1,000+ posts Supporter

@flyin-solo

I doubt it was LiDAR. A Phantom 4 wont carry one...unless they made a Frankenstein. More likely, it was using photogrammetry. 

For bare ground, the results would be what you described.

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Posted : February 12, 2021 8:57 am
flyin solo
(@flyin-solo)
1,000+ posts Supporter

@dmyhill yeah, you're right.  pretty sure it was this: https://www.dji.com/p4-multispectral

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Posted : February 15, 2021 10:13 am
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