Airsight Australia Launches NextCore UAV Lidar System - 09/08/2018

Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) service provider Airsight Australia has announced NextCore, a UAV Lidar scanner and processing system that offers comparable performance at a considerably lower price point than rivals.

The NextCore scanner is a 2.5kg UAV payload that can acquire 420,000 points per second with a 360-degree field of view and triple returns. Airsight Australia claims it is easily securable to a DJI Matrice 600, which is good for around 20 minutes of flight time with the NextCore payload.

Whilst aerial Lidar is a mature technology and proven acquisition tool, the market for UAV Lidar is expanding rapidly as makers scramble to develop highly accurate scanners in a UAV-specific form factor.

The benefits of UAV Lidar surveys over UAV-based photogrammetry are as for those in manned aerial surveys: the ability to model large areas without capturing enormous amounts of excess data, excellent tree penetration to create high-quality terrain models under tree canopies, and the ability to capture linear assets with far less overlap.

“We looked at the Lidar payload options available for Unmanned Aerial Systems and quickly realised that there was nothing on the market that could deliver the quality we needed at a price that we could pass on to our clients. So we built something that would suit both us and our customers’ needs,” said Nick Smith, CEO of Airsight Australia.

The NextCore system uses much lower cost hardware that then increases accuracy in the automated post-processing system. This is facilitated by the inclusion of a highly accurate IMU (inertial measurement unit) and GPS, which allows a lower-spec laser unit to be used, considerably reducing costs.

“We’ve designed the post-acquisition processing system so that users aren’t required to be GIS data specialists, the system will upload the data and deliver a quality result downloadable from our cloud system,” said Aaron Hoye, Airsight Australia CTO.

Last updated: 23/02/2019