Optech Celebrates 40 Years of Lidar Innovation

Jun 11, 2014 — Optech is pleased to announce that it is celebrating 40 years of lidar technology innovation. To mark the occasion, Optech is paying tribute to the incredible partnership with our clients over the years, from the first commercial lidar systems in the world, to solutions for bathymetry and UAVs. Without our valued clients, none of this would have been possible. Acknowledging decades of hard work by our world-class team, a celebration was held at Niagara Falls, including an exhibition of projects and the evolution of Optech lidar technology that has supported clients over the last 40 years.

Lasers were barely out of their infancy in the late 1960s, yet founder Dr. Allan Carswell saw their potential for revolutionizing remote sensing and began developing prototype lidars at York University, Canada. Government agencies were quick to see the benefits of this pioneering technology and, to keep up with the growing demand, Dr. Carswell founded Optech in 1974. This began the company’s long tradition of developing cutting-edge sensing technology in a cooperative setting and adapting ground-breaking science to fit the specific needs of our clients.

Optech has developed lidar and imaging systems for a multitude of clients and their specific applications, with several resulting in major contributions to the remote sensing industry. Some firsts from Optech include:

  • First commercial airborne laser bathymeter (US) – SHOALS
  • First mine safety volume measurement laser (Canada) – CMS
  • First long-range terrestrial scanner (Canada) – ILRIS
  • First commercial airborne laser mapping system (Germany) – ALTM
  • First compact mapping lidar for UAV deployment (US Military) – Orion
  • First mobile laser scanning system designed for engineering-grade applications (Italy) – Lynx

This pioneering start with continued innovation to meet client needs has enabled Optech to maintain its technology leadership in the industry, culminating in landmark products such as CZMIL for seamless topo/bathy even in turbid water conditions, the compact Orion for the highest quality and efficiency, the LMS automated workflow software for both airborne and mobile sensor data, and Lynx for capturing engineering-grade 3D data from vehicles moving at highway speeds.

“Optech has benefitted from many outstanding experiences over the last 40 years,” said Dr. Carswell, “from creating the first lidar-derived bathymetric charts to putting the first lidar on the surface of Mars onboard the NASA Phoenix Mission. As a new member of the Teledyne family of companies, Optech is entering a new era of continued innovation and development, with ever more exciting active and passive sensor solutions to meet real-world project requirements. I would like to thank our clients around the world for their contributions to our success, and promise them that the best is yet to come!”

About Optech

Optech is the world leader in high-accuracy lidar 3D survey systems, integrated cameras, and productivity-enhancing workflows. With operations and staff worldwide, Optech offers both standalone and fully integrated lidar and camera solutions in airborne mapping, airborne lidar bathymetry, mobile mapping, terrestrial laser scanning, mine cavity monitoring, and industrial process control, as well as space-proven sensors. Accuracy and productivity matter!

For further information, please contact your Regional Sales Manager or:

Wayne Szameitat
International Sales Manager
300 Interchange Way, 
Vaughan, Ontario, Canada L4K 5Z8   
+1 905 660 0808   
Email Contact

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