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Open AccessArticle

Flight Planning for LiDAR-Based UAS Mapping Applications

1
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, 7514 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
2
3D Optical Metrology (3DOM) Unit, Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK), 38122 Trento, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(6), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9060378
Received: 19 May 2020 / Revised: 3 June 2020 / Accepted: 5 June 2020 / Published: 8 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV in Smart City and Smart Region)
In the last two decades, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) were successfully used in different environments for diverse applications like territorial mapping, heritage 3D documentation, as built surveys, construction monitoring, solar panel placement and assessment, road inspections, etc. These applications were correlated to the onboard sensors like RGB cameras, multi-spectral cameras, thermal sensors, panoramic cameras, or LiDARs. According to the different onboard sensors, a different mission plan is required to satisfy the characteristics of the sensor and the project aims. For UAS LiDAR-based mapping missions, requirements for the flight planning are different with respect to conventional UAS image-based flight plans because of different reasons related to the LiDAR scanning mechanism, scanning range, output scanning rate, field of view (FOV), rotation speed, etc. Although flight planning for image-based UAS missions is a well-known and solved problem, flight planning for a LiDAR-based UAS mapping is still an open research topic that needs further investigations. The article presents the developments of a LiDAR-based UAS flight planning tool, tested with simulations in real scenarios. The flight planning simulations considered an UAS platform equipped, alternatively, with three low-cost multi-beam LiDARs, namely Quanergy M8, Velodyne VLP-16, and the Ouster OS-1-16. The specific characteristics of the three sensors were used to plan flights and acquired dense point clouds. Comparisons and analyses of the results showed clear relationships between point density, flying speeds, and flying heights. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAS LiDAR mapping system; flight planning; point density; multi-beam LiDAR UAS LiDAR mapping system; flight planning; point density; multi-beam LiDAR
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alsadik, B.; Remondino, F. Flight Planning for LiDAR-Based UAS Mapping Applications. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 378.

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