We have been very busy adding support for analysis associated with small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS, drones) to our LP360 product (more on these specific features later). For some time now we have been considering a special package of LP360 to better address the sUAS market. We did a needs assessment in terms of our standard packaging of LP360 and discovered the following:
- sUAS mapping is dominated by Surveyors. They do not tend to use ESRI products.
- They need advanced tools such as automatic ground extraction (bare earth algorithms)
- Digitizing toes of stockpiles is much more complex than it appears. Tools to make this process more reliable and faster are sorely needed.
- Breaklines are very important in a number of different areas
- The project sizes are small, usually no more than several hundred acres.
We have been addressing this market with a version of LP360 that we had dubbed “LP360 for sUAS.” This is essentially the same as LP360 Standard for Windows 64 bit (we will no longer be offering the standalone version of LP360 as a 32 bit application).
LP360 sUAS will initially be equivalent to LP360 Advanced for Windows but with a maximum size limitation of 4 km2 (approximately 1,000 acres) of LAS data. There is no restriction on the size of image or vector data. The size limitation can be removed by upgrading to LP360 sUAS Unlimited.
One of the major areas we have been working on for LP360 sUAS is 3D feature edit. In the 2015.1 version of LP360 (standalone), we added automatic stockpile toe digitizing as well as the ability to manually override the vertical location of polygon vertices while digitizing in 3D. However, we had virtually no edit tools. If a feature had an incorrect vertex, you were forced to redigitize the entire feature (this is not the case for breakline tools in LP360 for ArcGIS which contain a rich set of edit tools). We are addressing this with a new edit environment for LP360. The new toolbar (which is still under construction) is depicted in Figure 1.
Read Article: Introduction to LP360 sUAS