Wohnrade Civil Engineers Adds LiDAR 3D Laser Scanning Drone to Growing Fleet of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Colorado Firm’s UAVs Capable of Delivering Data Density 5X Greater Than Manned Alternatives 

Colorado Firm’s UAVs Capable of Delivering Data Density 5X Greater Than Manned Alternatives 

Wohnrade Civil Engineers, Inc. (WCE), a full-service engineering firm recognized for precision aerial mapping and incorporating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) high-resolution data into civil engineering design, announced today the addition of the Altus ORC2 electric helicopter (Figure 1) equipped with an advanced topographic LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) survey sensor to its extensive fleet of UAV engineering solutions. The 3-dimensional laser scans resulting from this technology enable WCE to deliver highly accurate, engineering-grade orthomosaic and topographic survey maps, even in mountainous regions or tracts covered with dense vegetation. The addition of the Altus ORC2 platform allows WCE to expand their UAV service offerings to a broad range of clients.

“We have been committed to delivering the most accurate data possible using the latest advances in UAV technology since purchasing our first drone in 2015,” says Mary Wohnrade, Principal Engineer, Wohnrade Civil Engineers, Inc.“LiDAR allows us to further enhance the accuracy of our geospatial mapping products while saving our clients both time and money. We can quickly certify the data collected and incorporate that mapping into final civil engineering designs allowing developers to optimize their investments while progressing their projects forward effectively and efficiently.”

LiDAR is an advanced survey method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measures distance to the Earth. The resulting reflected pulses—combined with other data collected by the UAV—generate precise, three-dimensional maps (point clouds) of the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics. The near-infrared laser used by WCE penetrates even the densest vegetation. And since each data point in a LiDAR point cloud has three-dimensional spatial coordinates (latitude, longitude, and height) it is highly effective in steep mountainous regions as well. The dataset created is in the standard ASPRS (American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing) LAS format compatible with any GIS or CAD software processing application.

Uses for WCE LiDAR-generated topographic maps include:

  • Land development
  • Floodplain analysis
  • Stormwater management
  • Water supply and quality monitoring
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) route locations
  • FEMA mapping and emergency response planning
  • GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping

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