Aiming at the burgeoning market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Velodyne LiDAR has unveiled its new Puck LITE, a 590-grams, 16-channel LiDAR sensor. Puck LITE made its public debut at the International LiDAR Mapping Forum in Denver.

“The Puck LITE is a natural follow-on product to the VLP-16 and was designed expressly to exceed the exacting requirements of the UAV market,” says Wayne Seto, product line manager, Velodyne LiDAR. “For UAVs and aerial 3D mapping applications generally, weight is everything. Our new offering retains all of the power and capabilities of the original Puck in an even lighter package.”

With a 30-degree vertical field of view and a range of 100 meters, Puck LITE builds on the Velodyne VLP-16 LiDAR Puck. Puck LITE matches the features and specifications of the VLP-16 and does not compromise on performance. Unveiled in late 2014, the VLP-16 weighs 830 grams. At UAS/UAV Mapping Forum last fall, the company announced that more than 1,000 VLP-16 sensors have been sold since the product’s formal unveiling the previous year.

“The UAV market is clearly in high-growth mode,” says Ravindra Puranik, market analyst, and Sachin Garg, research manager, MarketsandMarkets. “Moving forward, we look for LiDAR technology to become an even more integral part of mobile mapping, surveying, inspection and navigation.”

Weight remains a critical parameter for operating UAVs. The lighter the UAV — including the sensors it incorporates — the longer the flight time. Puck LITE addresses the requirements from UAV operators by reducing sensor weight by almost 30 percent, thereby enabling longer flight times while providing the same high level of performance as the VLP-16.

Velodyne LiDAR is now accepting orders for Puck LITE, with initial production scheduled for April.

About Velodyne LiDAR
Founded in 1983 and based in California’s Silicon Valley, Velodyne LiDAR Inc. is a technology company that specializes in real-time LiDAR sensors. Since 2007, Velodyne LiDAR has emerged as a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of real-time LiDAR sensor technology used in a variety of commercial applications including autonomous vehicles, vehicle safety systems, 3D mobile mapping, 3D aerial mapping and security.