Oslo, Thursday, November 8, 2012
An article shining light onto Blom’s Rotor Wing LiDAR operations

Blom has a long and extensive experience of airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) and has been an industry leader within LiDAR technology for many years, delivering data captured by both fixed wing and rotor wing systems. This article introduces Blom’s rotor wing services.

Rotor Wing LiDAR is geo-referenced high point density data captured by mounting both a laser scanner and a high resolution digital camera to a helicopter, providing simultaneous imagery and data capture. Using a helicopter instead of an airplane means you can manoeuvre easier, and better follow the nature and ground in more detail and with lower altitude. Contrary to when capturing fixed wing data, the imagery is captured per time unit and not per position. These features combined produce an excellent tool for survey and mapping of corridors and smaller to medium sized areas.

Matts Olsson, Director of the Blom Rotor Wing Operations, explains, “Rotor wing scanning allows you to capture data with an extremely high point density, which results in data that is more accurate and detailed than any data you can capture by fixed wing”. He continues, “Rotor wing provides a fast and efficient way of capturing laser data, and the helicopters are more flexible in air than fixed wing, which allows for access to more remote and demanding areas. As the helicopters are able to fly at a lower altitude you are also less dependent on the weather. Another advantage with rotor wing is that it manages to collect more detailed data from challenging ground, as compared to the fixed wing scanning”.

“Even though we operate the latest and most advanced technology available for rotor wing laser scanning, Blom’s strength is really in the quality of the data that we deliver”, says Matts Olsson. One of our great strengths at the Gothenburg office is that we focus on efficient delivery of data within one area of expertise only. Our long experience and broad expertise combined with top of the line technology, means we are able meet all customers’ demands and deliver the best quality achievable”, he continues. “We include risk analysis, position analysis and quality analysis as part of our daily tasks”, he adds.

Data captured by rotor wing are used in a number of different products, applications and models. Primarily, laser scanning data is used to create digital terrain models (DTM), digital surface models (DSM) and vectorized data sets. “LiDAR data results in terrain models with very high resolution, extremely good accuracy, short time to process and that requires a minimum of field work”, Matts says. Laser data is also commonly used for mapping products and for any GIS system. “Over the last few years we have seen a significant increase in the demand of data to create 3D models”, explains Matts.

Laser data is in demand by a range of different industries and markets. Blom’s main customer groups are within infrastructure and utility industries. However, we have seen an increased trend in the use of laser data for environmental surveys, such as for forestry, flooding and landslides.

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