At ILMF in Denver, Colo., Leica Geosystems Inc. and Airborne Hydrography AB announced the availability of CHIROPTERA II, an innovative LiDAR solution for topographic mapping and shallow water surveying in depths of up to 15 meters (49 feet). The system simultaneously captures the full waveform in both the 35 kHz bathymetric channel and the 500 kHz topographic channel to provide high-detail maps for environmental and coastal monitoring, infrastructure planning, and other near-shore applications.
The latest version incorporates the industry-leading 80-megapixel Leica RCD30 medium-format camera, NovAtel SPAN GNSS-IMU subsystem, Leica MissionPro mission planning software and Leica FlightPro flight navigation software. It also features a new scanner package that allows installation in the Leica PAV100 stabilized mount, providing perfect stabilization and reducing the number of flight lines needed, especially in turbulent weather.
“Chiroptera is a unique multispectral system designed specifically to excel at both shallow water and topographic mapping,” said Anders Ekelund, managing director of Airborne Hydrography AB, part of Leica Geosystems Geospatial Solutions Division. “Its depth penetration capabilities exceed those of competing sensors in its class, and its topographic point densities exceed those of other machines attempting to do both bathymetric and topographic data collection with a single laser unit. In this newest version, the scanner and controller have been separated to provide greater installation flexibility. Additionally, better detail can be extracted for both above-water and underwater features using a system that is not much more expensive than a traditional topo-only LiDAR.”
Being able to collect both bathymetric and high-point-density topographic data, plus high resolution aerial RGB images co-aligned with infrared images, all with a single sensor, opens a new field of applications within coastal monitoring, coastal assets inventory, sea-bed environmental monitoring, charting applications, infrastructural planning, coastal erosion monitoring, sea-bed classification and other applications.
“The combination of features and system pricing with the CHIROPTERA II allows many more practitioners to collect data and has the potential for significantly increasing our knowledge of coastal and inland waterways and habitats,” said Ron Roth, Product Manager - Airborne LIDAR for Leica Geosystems Geospatial Solutions Division.