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YellowScan Lidar for UAVs Aided by Inertial Nav, GPS RTK

September 4, 2015  - By
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A UAV carries the YellowScan lidar.

A UAV carries the YellowScan lidar.

SBG Systems joins YellowScan to present a lightweight lidar with inertial and GPS for UAVs. The new product will be presented at the INTERGEO trade show in Stuttgart, held Sept. 15-17.

The YellowScan lidar is designed for fixed or rotary-wing UAVs, with an embedded Ellipse-E, a miniature inertial navigation system from SBG Systems, which helps obtaining a clear and accurate point cloud.

The UAV market is continuously growing, especially for professional applications like 3D surveying. Developed for such applications, YellowScan’s R&D team has worked closely with researchers and professionals in industries such as construction, surveying, mining and natural resources to create a comprehensive, high-performance and easy-to-use LiDAR.

Ellipse-E. The ready-to-use YellowScan is operational at up to 75 meters and delivers a highly dense point cloud accurate to 10/15 centimeter. The solution includes a lidar with a ±50 degree angle that measures 40,000 points per second, an Ellipse-E inertial navigation system coupled with a centimeter-level RTK GPS, an on-board computer, and an integrated battery.

The Ellipse-E miniature inertial navigation system by SBG Systems.

The Ellipse-E miniature inertial navigation system by SBG Systems.

Once mounted on the drone, the user pushes the yellow button and YellowScan is ready to survey. LED lights give useful information on YellowScan state, for instance if the GPS is receiving RTK corrections or not. The user can launch the UAV and begin the survey. Once the task accomplished, a USB stick is used for downloading the data. An office software visualizes the point cloud in a few clicks, before opening it in an industry specific software like Terrasolid, AutoCAD or ESRI.

The YellowScan research and development team was searching for a high-performance, light and ITAR-free inertial navigation system for motion compensation and data georeferencing. They tested the Ellipse-E, the new miniature inertial navigation systems from SBG. Weighting 12 grams as an OEM version, it provides roll-and-pitch data accurate to 0.2 degree. The heading is accurate to 0.5° with only one antenna. Indeed, the heading computation relies on GPS and accelerometers data. This method is used when GPS positioning is widely available and punctuated by frequent accelerations, such as turns. The R&D team found the test results satisfying, and a point cloud highly clean. “We are very satisfied with this little Ellipse-E. It perfectly matches our technical needs, and we even gained 5 percent on the total weight of the YellowScan,” said Tristan Allouis, CTO at YellowScan.

Ellipse-E Coupled with External GPS Receiver. The Ellipse-E inertial navigation system is able to connect to any survey-grade GPS receiver and to fuse in real-time GPS position with inertial information. Ellipse-E maintains a reliable position even if GPS masks occur. In this application, the Ellipse-E is coupled with the AsterX-m OEM card from Septentrio, a receiver that uses GPS and GLONASS constellations and works with all types of RTK reference stations.

At INTERGEO, YellowScan will be in booth # F8.014, and SBG Systems will present the Ellipse-E at booth # G4.079.

A point cloud made with YellowScan.

A point cloud made with YellowScan.

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