Optech's 4th Quarter 2014 Newsletter


Welcome to Optech's 4th Quarter 2014 Newsletter!


Optech is pleased to have released several new cutting-edge solutions in 2014, including a complete ILRIS/photogrammetry data fusion package, a bundle of new features in LMS 3.0, and of course a new airborne lidar that exceeds all expectations for a single-beam sensor, the ALTM Galaxy! Read on for more...

New Releases

ALTM Galaxy offers big power in a small package


On September 30th, Optech proudly announced the latest addition to its airborne lidar arsenal, the ALTM Galaxy. By packing unprecedented power and ease of use into a compact form factor, Galaxy represents a massive leap forward in lidar sensor design and reliability. Equipped with a powerful new laser, Galaxy provides a 550-kHz effective pulse repetition ate that challenges dual-beam sensors while benefitting from the compact size of a single-beam sensor.


Meanwhile, Galaxy's sophisticated PulseTRAK™ technology eliminates many surveying pitfalls for easier operation and more consistent results. To solve for multipulse operational restrictions and data density variations, PulseTRAK™ creates a continuous operation envelope by eliminating multipulse transition zones, and dynamically adjusts the scanner field of view on-the-fly to maintain constant swath widths and point distribution. PulseTRAK™ also uses faster scan speeds that provide a more even point distribution for higher laser rep rates, while recording up to 8 returns per pulse for excellent vertical density without the need to record and process cumbersome full waveforms.

Even with these amazing enhancements, Galaxy still fits into the ultra-compact installation footprint of the ALTM Orion, giving it the flexibility to operate in a medium sized UAV, heli-pod, static mount or GSM with complete compatibility with any of Optech's CS-Series of airborne cameras. Galaxy also uses the same flight management system as Orion and Pegasus, with in-air LAS-file generation and real-time point clouds for true coverage verification. ALTM Galaxy is the next generation of airborne surveying systems!

Airborne cameras and drift control in LMS 3.0  


Optech has just announced the pending release of version 3.0 of its  Lidar Mapping Suite (LMS), with new features for users in all spheres of surveying.  First, LMS 3.0 provides several features that help overcome one of the largest problems associated with mobile surveying, the issue of drift control and accuracy validation. LMS 3.0 also includes the ability to visualize lidar data, interrogate/select control locations and robustly apply automated lidar rectification and boresight algorithms in all survey conditions. By enabling surveyors to work in difficult GPS conditions, LMS reduces the cost in time and money needed to perform mobile surveys.


Meanwhile, LMS 3.0 introduces a highly desired new feature for airborne surveyors by including support for camera processing as well as lidar, marking the first time a major sensor manufacturer has included complete camera boresight and calibration in the same workflow as airborne and mobile lidar data. With Optech ALTMs and airborne cameras already tightly integrated for mission planning and flight operation, it was only natural to extend this integration into post-flight processing as well. This addition greatly simplifies the workflow, improves efficiency, and enables truly coincident datasets for airborne surveyors. LMS 3.0 is targeted for release in December, 2014.

CZMIL Project Program opens access to world-class bathymetry  


This summer, Optech put the world's most powerful and productive airborne topo/bathy mapping system within reach of smaller agencies with the CZMIL Project Program. Several of Optech's award-winning CZMIL systems are already validated and in use with large government agencies, but now even academic organizations and survey companies with more modest budgets can hire the sensor and a highly skilled crew of operations and processing professionals for specific projects. Now, such groups can take on previously impossible projects, creating seamless topography/bathymetry in real-world conditions using CZMIL's unparalleled turbid water penetration and HydroFusion's advanced and automated data processing workflow.

ILRIS Scan UAV delivers rapid surveys in an integrated package


Last quarter, Optech held UAV Day to showcase a new technique for rapid surveying pioneered by geo-konzept that combines a camera mounted on a geo-X8000 octocopter with the ILRIS terrestrial laser scanner. Now, Optech has released the ILRIS Scan UAV suite, a full surveying solution that includes UAV, camera, and lidar hardware and integrates photogrammetry into the ILRIS software workflow. This suite includes an ILRIS for the rapid collection of accurate 3D data at long ranges plus a geo-X8000 octocopter equipped with a gimbal-mounted camera to supply aerial imagery. To provide an easy solution Optech has also included a specialized version of the ILRIS control and processing software, ILRIS Scan UAV, which creates a secondary point cloud from the UAV imagery using aerial triangulation and combines it with the ILRIS point cloud. With this solution, users can survey quickly with the ILRIS to get dense data for the most important parts of the survey area, then fill in any gaps with the bird's-eye view of the geo-X8000. 

Recent News

ALTM Orion tours in China 


Optech's demo lidar and camera sensors are always on the move, and this quarter Optech focused specifically on the Chinese airborne market. The ALTM Orion H300 demonstrated its ability to cover wide areas efficiently when it took to the  Chinese  sky co-mounted with CS-Series orthometric cameras in a gyro-stabilized mount, surveying from high altitudes in a fixed-wing aircraft. Displaying its installation flexibility, the Orion was subsequently installed with CS-Series cameras in a helicopter pod from which it performed a low-altitude 500-km corridor survey with impressive high-precision results.  

Upcoming Teledyne RESON sonar/Optech lidar fusion promises amazing results   


In yet another example of innovative sensor fusion, Optech's sister company Teledyne RESON is demonstrating their solution for simultaneous above and below water mapping in Australia this December. This technique is similar to the one used to survey the wreck of the Costa Concordia in 2012, integrating a RESON Seabat 7125-SV multibeam echosounder with an Optech ILRIS terrestrial laser scanner on a watercraft with an Applanix position and orientation system providing inertial navigation information. "Because Optech and RESON are both Teledyne companies we have been able to deliver a completely integrated, turn-key solution," said Dario Conforti, Optech's Worldwide Channel Partner Manager for TLS. "The two sensors are even controlled by the same software, RESON's PDS2000, enabling real-time display of the merged lidar/sonar datasets for immediate quality assurance and emergency data collection." The survey will take place in Sydney harbor at the invitation of the Port Authority of New South Wales on December 10-11, and will be available for extension to other locations for the benefit of other interested port authorities.

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