BoE Systems Drone-Based Aerial LiDAR Supports Local Waterway Infrastructure Project

By Jason Littrell, President, BoE Systems

Introduction

BoE Systems integrates cutting-edge hardware and software to provide highly accurate geospatial data collection solutions. Our drone-based aerial LiDAR systems create detail-rich 3-dimensional models from an ideal vantage point. These models, known as point clouds, are ideal for a variety of industry uses as they hold a treasure trove of critical data points such as geodetic locations, slope identification, point-to-point measurements, volumetrics, and more. It’s simple to create accurate digital elevation models (DEM), display contour lines denoting elevation changes, show predictive flooding and drainage analytics, and more. In short, companies involved in transportation, utilities, mining, construction, to name a few are highly interested in this data.

The ELV16 Scanner

BoE Systems entered the mobile mapping industry with the ELV16 Scanner, the most compact aerial-based LiDAR solution on the market. The ELV16 Scanner is equipped with a Velodyne LiDAR sensor and an SBG Systems Ellipse2-D inertial navigation sensor. By leveraging dual GNSS receivers, industry-leading base stations, RTK corrections, and robust communication links, the ELV16 Scanner makes the absolute most out of this emerging tech, at a value-conscious price. For even greater cost-savings, customers can use their own base stations, so long as they can send RTCM3 corrections over UHF.

Our customer-centric focus on building capable lidar solutions drove us to relentlessly pursue systems with excellent ease of use. The ELV16 can be operated entirely via a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The graphic user interfaces are simple and easy to use, and work on Android, Mac, iOS, and Windows devices alike. Data files are stored on the capture system until ready to download to a computer, ensuring your data is never lost due to a communications drop out.

Data Processing

When ready to download, capture files can be offloaded from the capture system via a blazing fast hardline connection via ethernet, removeable Micro SD card, or even Wi-Fi connection. Once downloaded, the file is converted to an industry-standard LAS format and can be imported into a client’s CAD or other point cloud rendering software.

For a small fee, BoE Systems can extract key data points for customers. This allows customers and service providers a great alternative to investing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars into post-processing operations, software and analysts. These capabilities and offerings have proven to be a versatile, economic, and smart solution for LiDAR data acquisition and perfectly complements our core goals of providing accuracy, speed, access, safety, and affordability. 

Case Study

That’s why BoE Systems was approached by Kissick Construction, a full-service construction company, this winter to provide aerial LiDAR on a unique infrastructure project that Kissick was working on. Kissick Construction had previously used BoE Systems services to provide volumetrics data on a number of aggregate stockpiles in their inventory. This unique infrastructure project, however, required identifying and removing thousands of cubic yards of gravel that had washed over and around a river jetty and subsequently was impeding the jetty’s main functions. The jetty spanned the Kansas River at an angle, turning the usually 750-foot wide river into an over 1000-foot expanse.  

Realizing this project would benefit greatly from an accurate LiDAR scan to guide gravel removal efforts, Kissick contacted BoE Systems to provide the aerial LiDAR scan. Working in close coordination with Kissick surveyors, BoE Systems conducted the LiDAR scans using it’s ELV16 Scanner.

Flying above and around the jetty allowed the ELV16 Scanner to successfully capture the jetty and surroundings, as well as the ground control points laid by Kissick surveyors. As one onlooker pointed out, it was a lot safer to fly the drone than having surveyors scrambling all over the expanse, especially during the dead of winter, with ice formation, and shifting gravel, coupled with a flowing river adding to the hazards field crews might usually face.

Wrap Up

Deliverables, that included a registered LAS file, came soon after, in the formats needed by project management to guide project advancement. When questioned about whether the customer was satisfied with the results, Jarred Sommer from Kissick Construction said the data we provided “is PLENTY good enough for what we are looking for.”

That is the type of customer feedback we continuously strive for. We believe this technology is going to radically change the workflow for many industries. What used to take days, or weeks, can be done in hours and that bodes well for the bottom line for our clients and us.

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