Results from UAV Deployments of ASTRALiTe Topo-Bathy LiDAR Sensor
We present data from a breakthrough Lidar technology in mapping, detecting, and identifying underwater features in shallow waters (< 5m) from an above-water, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). We show examples of how the patented capability has led to unprecedented centimeter-level depth resolution in estimates of water depth, river cross-sectional area, seamless land-water transitions, detailed bottom topologies, and detection of objects submerged just below the water surface.
Characterization of underwater objects measured by the scanning Lidar from a UAV platform will be presented under a variety of shallow water depths and water conditions. This UAV-capable, topo-bathy Lidar system is advancing bathymetric observation capabilities by providing concurrently, highly precise positioning, ranging and planimetric measurements of water surfaces and bottom topologies in shallow-water regimes (< 5 m). The results will demonstrate the promising application of this approach. This new technology is also lighter, cheaper, and yet more capable solution than other bathymetric Lidars. No other Lidar system can provide the bathymetric 1-cm precision and shallow-water operation, which in addition is light enough to be deployed on a UAV.
This disruptive scanning topo- bathymetry lidar with 1-cm depth resolution on a UAV opens new applications for surveying such as underwater topography, underwater infrastructure like dams, levees, bridge supports, and searching for submerged objects. It offers new possibilities for coastal-zone mapping and surveying, target morphometry, and hydrologic modelling of waterways, to name a few.