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  • Writer's pictureExtreme Aerial

17 Applications of EAP’s New Hovermap LiDAR System

Hovermap LiDAR drone system

Extreme Aerial Productions has just acquired a brand new Hovermap to create SLAM-based LiDAR maps of previously hard-to-reach places. This advanced technology makes mapping inaccessible areas safe, easy and fast.

We are already using the versatile Hovermap to safely and rapidly create 3D maps. Created by Emesent, it can be fitted to a drone, vehicle or backpack and requires no GPS signal to work.

We’ve had our eye on the Hovermap for a while and finally added it to our fleet of equipment in January 2023. Here are some of the top benefits of our newest “toy.”

Top Benefits of the Hovermap LiDAR System

  1. Keeps our staff safe By using the Hovermap, our pilots can stay far from edges, confined spaces or heights. They can fly it beyond line-of-sight and capture critical data, making decisions in real-time without putting themselves at risk.

  2. Increases productivity & efficiency We’re able to quickly and safely map inaccessible areas and assets with minimal disruption to day-to-day operations at the filming site. Whether it's a construction site, a roadway, or a tunnel, people can continue work as usual.

  3. Offers greater insights We can now explore and map areas that were previously inaccessible. We use Hovermap to generate accurate, high-resolution point clouds without shadowing. The resulting data and modeling outputs are remarkably precise.

Check out the self-flying LiDAR Hovermap in action:

17 Applications of the Hovermap LiDAR System

The Hovermap is new to us, and we’re still discovering all the ways it can be used. Here’s a quick look at 20 applications of this incredible new technology:

  1. Construction Projects It’s always a challenge to create 3D maps in built environments. The deft Hovermap can easily and safely maneuver around and among cranes, scaffolding and other tall structures, creating reliable high-resolution point clouds even in areas without GPS.

  2. Terrain & Forestry The Hovermap can swiftly fly above or below a tree canopy to map terrain and create a digital terrain model (DTM). A DTM 3D representation of a terrain surface, created from elevation data, with objects such as vegetation or infrastructure digitally removed. This is powerful data that can be helpful in assessing damage after a flood, surveying land use and studying the geology of a vast land tract. Hovermap can also create a complete picture of a forest and characterize individual trees by size, location and branches.

  3. Urban Mapping Increasingly, municipalities are using digital 3D models for urban planning. This requires collecting accurate, reliable data suitable for Level of Detail 3 or 4 increases. Hovermap’s versatility and dense colorized point clouds make it an ideal solution.

  4. Stockpiles Traditionally, measuring and surveying stockpiles can be slow and inaccurate. Hovermap creates a dense, measured point cloud that informs accurate volumetrics and a wide range of other slope and stockpile analyses.

  5. Telecommunication Towers When it comes to inspecting antennas and telecommunication towers, the Hovermap provides a revolutionary, safe option for gathering impeccable high-resolution data.

  6. Transmission Towers and Lines We can use the Hvoermap to fly along power lines, monitoring vegetation growth and giving us a close-up look at towers, insulators and conductors. Even without GPS, we have a 360° field of view.

  7. Vertical shafts Until now, inspecting vertical shafts has been very dangerous work that required specialized equipment and training. Placed inside a protective cage, the Hovermap can safely and quickly swoop down to inspect and photograph vertical shafts and structures. This capability has powerful applications for airflow monitoring, geotechnical inspection and seismic monitoring.

  8. Industrial Plants (Outdoors or Indoors) Plants can be tricky to map, especially if there is no GPS reception indoors. But no obstacle can stop the Hovermap, which uses advanced collision avoidance, and SLAM mapping to quickly gather accurate data and create 3D maps in industrial settings.

  9. Tunnels, Enclosed Spaces and Tanks Inspecting tunnels, tanks and other enclosed spaces can be extremely hazardous. The Hovermap can scan these types of environments safely to identify defects or functional issues, ensure regulatory compliance, monitor conditions and help prevent fires.

  10. Bridges High-quality data is essential to bridgework! Even in areas of GPS-shadow, the Hovermap generates accurate point cloud data of bridges and delivers scans that can be merged with hydrographic surveys or other scans.

  11. Port and Piers The Hovermap can scan both above and below the infrastructure of a pier, without interference to day-to-day operations. This is valuable for inspecting the pier's condition and monitoring sea levels. LiDAR scans can be merged with bathymetric surveys to produce complete data sets.

  12. Caves and Cliffs Need contour maps of a cliff? Want to see the finest details of a cave before beginning construction? Need to analyze a watershed or assess the environmental impact of a project? Hovermap’s rotating LiDAR sensor captures data in all directions, making it ideally suited to scan along a cliff edge or map a cave system. Traditionally, a 360° scan needs two takes but the Hovermap can do it in one shot!

  13. Crop Management The Hovermap is a particularly efficient solution for crop identification, detecting disease or pests, and estimating plant yields. Regardless of cloud cover, the technology can create extremely reliable, detailed maps to better inform crop management decisions.

  14. Cultural Heritage Excellent 3-D mapping is invaluable when it comes to preserving or renovating historical buildings. Hovermap is equipped with a virtual shield so that the drone maintains a safe distance during flight while still capturing high-resolution, colorized data.

  15. Space Optimization “Does it fit?” is the key question to answer prior to moving equipment or an asset from one location to another. With Hovermap, we can quickly scan the asset, the route and the new location to assess fit virtually before a single piece of equipment is lifted or moved.

  16. BIM 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) is essential in the construction world to help efficiently plan, design, construct and manage building projects. The Hovermap is ideal for mechanical, electrical and plumbing design, and for quickly gathering accurate data in complex built environments.

  17. Virtual Effects (VFX) We love making movies here at Extreme Aerial. And since time is money, we know that speed is key when we’re capturing VFX data on a live set. Hovermap lets us scan the set in a matter of minutes and map the set so we can plan our filming schedule accordingly.

Clearly, there are so many ways that LiDAR technology and our new Hovermap can be applied to increase safety, improve the accuracy of data and generate 3D maps of areas that were previously very hard to access. Truly, the sky is the limit. And remember he who has the most data wins!

Have questions about how Hovermap and LiDAR technology can help you? We love to talk tech!

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