clone wars and drone fights

NEWSFLASH: update on Feb 5th and 6th and 17th (see end of article)

The year 2014 shapes to be a fun one in which the LiDAR community will see some major laser battles. (-: First, ESRI starts a „lazer clone war“ with the open source community saddening your very own LAS clown here at rapidlasso with a proprietary LAZ clone. Then AHAB and Optech start to squirmish over the true penetration depth of their bathymetric systems in various forums. And now RIEGL – just having launched their Q1560 „crossfire“ for battling Leica and Optech in the higher skies – is heading into an all-out „laser drone war“ with FARO and Velodyne over arming UAVs and gyrocopters with lasers by rolling out their new (leaked?) RIEGL VUX-1 scanner … (-;

Some specs below, but no details yet on power-consumption.

  • about 3.85 kilograms
  • 225mm x 180mm x 125mm
  • survey-grade accuracy of 25mm
  • echo signal digitisation
  • online waveform processing
  • measurement rate up to 500 kHz
  • field of view 300 degrees
  • internal 360 GB SSD storage or real-time data via LAN-TCP/IP
  • collects data at altitudes or ranges of more than 1,000 ft
  • will be on display during ILMF 2014 (Feb 17-19, Denver, USA)
The new RIEGL VUX-1 laser scanner for UAVs ...
The new RIEGL VUX-1 laser scanner for UAVs

Below a proof-of-concept concept video by Phoenix Aerial on how such a system (here based on a Velodyne HDL-32E scanner) may look and operate.

A similar system introduced by Airbotix is shown below.

Aibot X6 with laser scanner from Velodyne HDL-32E
Aibot X6 with laser scanner from Velodyne HDL-32E

But before trusting these kind of drones with your expensive hardware you should make plenty of test flights with heavy payloads. Here a suggestion to make this more fun:

UPDATE (February 5th): It is reported by SPAR Point Group that the RIEGL VUX-1 LiDAR scanner for drones is to be shown at International LiDAR Mapping Forum in Denver later this month. Given the ceremony that the Q1560 „crossfire“ was introduced with, it surely seems as if Geospatial World Magazine spilled the news early …

UPDATE (February 6th): RIEGL officially press-released the VUX-1 LiDAR. Its weight is below 4kg and its range up to 1000 ft …

UPDATE (February 17th): Today the new VUX-1 finally made it’s much anticipated world-premiere during ILMF 2014 in Denver. For more images of the official unveiling see RIEGL’s blog.

The VUX-1 LiDAR scanner for UAVs unveiled at ILMF 2014.
The VUX-1 LiDAR scanner for UAVs unveiled at ILMF 2014.

0 Kommentare zu „clone wars and drone fights“

  1. Pingback: new compressed LAS format by ESRI | rapidlasso GmbH

  2. Drone wars, clone wars, clown-spaß. […] I guess you just have to beat zlas with better features, better compressim and more integrations / support in other software. The availability of the Open Source library for LAZ support should help because that is a weak point of zlas. By the way, would there be any value in a Java implementation of the laszip library?

  3. Not sure about the 4kg Riegl flying, but the 1kg Velodyne HDL-32E with 32 laser beams and 700,000 data points per second took off on a UAV by during a spontaneous event during ILMF….

    Watch the UAV collecting live data and transmitting it wirelessly to the real-time viewing and recording program VeloView ( on the computer.

    XactMaps will process this data taken without GPS or IMU to get a geo-referenced point cloud. Stay tuned for the update after the processing.


  4. Pingback: Tutorial: editing LAS or LAZ files with lasview | rapidlasso GmbH

  5. Pingback: Esri and rapidlasso develop joint LiDAR compressor | rapidlasso GmbH

  6. Pingback: Realizing Open LiDAR with ArcGIS online and LASzip | rapidlasso GmbH

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