UAVs Bring Transformation To Modern Surveying

Surveying just is measuring and mapping. Surveying Engineering is a comprehensive information science utilising distinct modern techniques and methodologies to collect, measure, analyse, store, manage, demonstrate, broadcast and apply diversified geoinformation.

Most people feel that surveying is very far away from our lives. In fact, you can see surveying's footprint everywhere, from a small scale normal map to a large scale railway or highway distribution network routines.  National defence, energy, agriculture, forestry, water and electricity, urban development, transportation planning, land management, etc., they all can’t be done without surveying.  For example, the map wouldn't exist if without surveying. Our navigators in the cars and navigation software on the phone wouldn’t know the ways if GPS technique does not exist in land surveying.

The surveyors in the old days need to measure the land on feet, carrying poles to hike and camping anywhere, and draw fine maps. The working conditions in surveying industry nowadays have changed very substantially. It has become more and more modernisation for surveying instruments, devices and technology, significantly improved surveyors’ working conditions.


The modern surveyor can drive the car, operate the drone, and use advanced equipment to gather request information. The conventional surveying method not only spends a lot of manpower and resources but also be difficult to form a complete cartographic model. Conversely, the use of UAV mapping, which is to acquire high-resolution image data and generate a three-dimensional point cloud model via UAV photography at a low altitude, can achieve a quick access to geographic information. This approach satisfies various demands in surveying industry with its high efficiency, low cost, accurate data and flexible operation.

Hover Vision is a low-altitude aerial survey image provider in the USA. One of their projects is to measure four fuel tanks in a construction site of 73,000 square meters. America federal Environmental Security Act regulates that fuel tanks must be put into use after the establishment of the soil fire dyke. It is extremely complicated and time-consuming to measure a large object precisely. With the traditional method, the contractor uses a manned helicopter to capture images, but hardly to guarantee the amount of the photos and the cost per flight is very high. For a project i.e. estimated to complete in 5 months, at least ten air works are necessary. Apparently, the contractor desires a better solution to reduce the cost and time.

By using Surestar’s SKY-LARK UAV LiDAR System, self-developed and light weight, the point cloud data and image data could be acquired simultaneously through one flight. Also, it can obtain precise exterior orientation data for each image, and then post-process the raw images via the modelling software. One-hour processing can produce an on-site interactive, scaling and high-resolution 3D reconstruction, as well as lossless images, digital elevation models and high-resolution orthophotography. Moreover, the engineers in different areas can evaluate project progress, calculate oil reserve and analyse elevation model using these images and models.  


SKY-LARK UAV LiDAR System has the features of high integration, high accuracy, far range and light weight. The entire integrated system only has a weight of 7.2kg if carrying an hour power supply. It can be mounted on multi-rotor, oil moving helicopter, fixed-wing flight and other platforms. The application includes terrain surveying, riverine/coastal surveying, 3D modelling, and powerlines inspection, etc. It is the only customised LiDAR system for small light UAVS in the world.

More Details: SKY-LARK UAV LiDAR System