Optech Newsletter - Q3 2014

In This Issue
Recent Conferences and Events
Latest News
Recent Article
Optech Profile
Did You Know?
Special Events

Optech Celebrates 40 Years of Lidar Innovation!

This year marked Optech's 40th year of lidar research and technology innovation! Dr. Allan Carswell began studying how lasers could revolutionize remote sensing shortly after their invention in the 1960s, and his ground-breaking prototype lidars at York University caused so much demand that he founded Optech in 1974 to commercialize the technology. This began Optech'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. By remaining at the forefront of technology, Optech has had many "firsts" over the years, including the first commercial airborne laser bathymeter (SHOALS) and terrain mapper ( ALTM), plus the first long-range terrestrial laser scanner ( ILRIS). This culminated in landmark products such as  CZMIL for seamless topo/bathy even in turbid water conditions, the compact  Orion with the 
highest quality and efficiency,  LMS automated workflow software for both airborne and mobile sensor data, and  Lynx for capturing engineering-grade 3D data at highway speeds. To mark the occasion and acknowledge decades of hard work by our world-class team, Optech held a celebration in Niagara Falls that included an exhibition of our projects and the evolution of Optech lidar technology.
Seoul, Korea
Aug 25-27
Booth #A13

Shanghai, China
Sep 3-5
Booth #B50

St. John's, Newfoundland
Sep 14-19
Booth #103

Berlin, Germany
Oct 7-9   
Stand #D4.021, Hall 4.1
3rd Quarter 2014  

Welcome to Optech's 3rd Quarter 2014 Newsletter! 


May 16, 2014 marked 40 years of lidar innovation at Optech, and we're staying at the front of the industry by exploring data fusion with UAV photogrammetry, helping customers share new techniques and best practices, picking up another award for CZMIL, and even heading into space aboard NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission! Read on for more...

Recent Conferences and Events
Bathymetry, UAVs and Golf at MAPPS 2014 Summer Conference

Optech had a strong presence at this year's MAPPS 2014 Summer Conference in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, participating in both the formal proceedings and the recreational activities. Optech, Inc. President Max Elbaz joined a panel discussion on the applications of bathy/topo lidar systems and data, where he was joined by representatives of government agencies that already use Optech's industry-leading CZMIL airborne bathymetry/topography mapping system to survey deeper and in more turbid waters than ever before. Optech also discussed new techniques for augmenting Optech 3D ILRIS data with rapid UAV photogrammetry, information presented at Optech's UAV Day the previous week. To round off the conference on a relaxed note, Optech sponsored the official MAPPS Golf Tournament, where attendees got to network and enjoy the scenic Coeur d'Alene Golf Course, including its unusual "floating" offshore green in Lake Coeur d'Alene.

UAV Day at Optech   

Industry professionals and academics arrived at Optech's headquarters in Toronto on July 17 for UAV Day, where Optech partner geo-konzept flew their X-8000 ultralight UAV to demonstrate its compatibility with Optech terrestrial and mobile lidar sensors. As Janos Faust wrote in a February article , geo-konzept has pioneered a new data fusion technique for rapid surveying by combining the Optech ILRIS terrestrial lidar system with UAV-based photogrammetry. In this technique, surveyors complement the precise, high-density 3D coverage of the ILRIS with the X-8000's rapid photogrammetry to colorize the point cloud and fill in any remaining areas with aerial triangulation. UAV Day attendees first went outside to see the UAV, ILRIS, and Lynx Mobile Mapper in action, then headed indoors to discuss the new process with Optech and geo-konzept personnel over refreshments, as well as look through Optech's newly assembled archive of lidar history.

Optech Concludes 7th International Terrestrial Laser Scanner User Meeting

Optech kicked off the 7th International Terrestrial Laser Scanner User Meeting at the Sapienza University of Rome on June 12-13. Presenters and attendees from countries across the world, including South Africa, Finland, the UK and Brazil, came to announce intriguing new applications for static and mobile lidar systems, share best practices, and discuss how to advance the remote sensing industry as a whole. Dr. Andrea Tamburini of IMAGEO Srl delivered the first keynote, describing how the Optech ILRIS is revolutionizing the geological investigation and monitoring of rock cliffs and glaciers. Marco Garozzo of Sineco S.p.a. followed on the second day with a keynote that gave an inside look at the development of the Optech Lynx Mobile Mapper™ and described several interesting applications of the system. Attendees learned many new applications and techniques for their sensors from the 24 regular presentations, several of which focused on integrating lidar with other sensors. These applications included synthetic aperture radar (SAR), UAV photogrammetry and thermal sensing. Combined with an informal night out alongside Optech personnel for some networking and authentic Roman food, this year's UGM was a rousing success!  

Latest News

Optech Visiting an Asteroid on NASA's OSIRIS-REx

Optech is sending yet another lidar into space, this time as a critical part of NASA's   Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission to study asteroid Bennu and return a sample from its surface to Earth. The spacecraft will use its OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) to survey the surface of Bennu repeatedly as it approaches the asteroid, enabling scientists to analyse its structure and composition, helping them select the spot from which a sample of surface material will be collected for transport back to Earth. In addition to expanding our knowledge of the early solar system, this mission will help scientists determine whether Bennu is an impact threat and plan ways to deflect it if it approaches Earth too closely. Optech designed the OLA's optical assembly - including its receiver, dual lasers and associated electronics - for operation at ranges up to 7 km, and recently delivered the prototype assembly to prime contractor MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA). This represents the third time Optech lidar systems have gone into space, following Optech's atmospheric lidar on the NASA Phoenix Mars Lander and the rendezvous lidar system on the US Air Force Research Lab satellite XSS-11 .

NM Group Acquires their 4th Optech Lidar System

We are very pleased to share the fact that worldwide mapping company NM Group (formerly Network Mapping) has acquired their fourth airborne lidar sensor from Optech, a state-of-the-art Orion C300 ALTM . With clients in the electricity transmission and distribution, railway, highway, oil and gas, mining and other sectors keen to obtain the most value from a lidar-based program, NM Group decided the ultra-compact Orion C300 was the perfect tool to support the asset management and engineering services provided by the company. The Orion C300 will enable NM Group to carry out their combined transmission line maintenance monitoring and thermal ratings service for standards compliance by leveraging its Class 1 eye-safe laser, industry-leading density and precision, and ability to map vegetation, the ground and multiple layers of powerlines in a single pulse without the burden of waveform digitization. Optech is very pleased to be supporting the NM Group with the best systems possible, and we look forward to a continued relationship for years to come.

Optech CZMIL Wins Geospatial World Technology Innovation Award

The   Optech CZMIL received fresh acknowledgement of its capabilities on May 8 when it won a Technology Innovation Award from the Geospatial World Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. Optech, Inc. President Max Elbaz was on hand to officially accept the award for CZMIL, received for combining bathymetric lidar, an RGB camera and a hyperspectral sensor with the cutting-edge data fusion algorithms of the  CZMIL HydroFusion software workflow to achieve unprecedented results. CZMIL maps bathymetry in turbid and muddy waters, while reaching 80 meters deep in clear conditions. This award complements the MAPPS award HydroFusion won this past February, revealing to larger audience the automated  Optech processes and advanced algorithms that generate a variety of seamless 3D topographic/bathymetric environmental products from a single survey, including bottom classification maps, object detection, and DEMs. With these awards and five systems already in use by domestic and foreign government agencies, CZMIL and HydroFusion are well-recognized as the world's leading airborne lidar bathymetry solution.
Recent Article

Interview: Sensor Fusion is the Way Ahead

Readers of Geospatial World magazine got a glimpse into the future of remote sensing last month as President of Optech Inc. Max Elbaz gave an interview for the July 2014 issue. Starting off with some of Optech's 'firsts' from 40 years in the lidar industry, Max then made the case for how sensor and data fusion ties into the need for higher accuracies without sacrificing collection efficiency.  Describing the driving factors of infrastructure growth in developing countries, demand for 3D data for planning in developed countries, and climate change challenges, he illustrated how these would affect the remote sensing market as a whole. Focusing on Optech's future specifically, he illustrated how Optech's proven ALTM , Lynx and CZMIL systems have been augmented and updated to keep up with evolving technology and project needs, including the advantages of new workflow efficiencies using Optech LMS Pro and CZMIL HydroFusion . He also mentioned that Optech has some upcoming product releases designed to fulfill new demands. Geospatial World was curious about how Optech was adapting to Teledyne's acquisition, so Max discussed how Optech was taking advantage of Teledyne's wide technical expertise in remote sensing to explore sensor fusion products and finance additional research and development. To get Max's full thoughts on the future of the industry, head over to Geospatial World's website !
Optech Profile

Meet Fabricio Jimenez, Regional Sales Manager for the Latin American Markets

Optech is pleased to introduce Fabricio Jimenez, our new Regional Sales Manager for the Latin American Markets. Fabricio joined Optech in May 2014 to research the needs of surveyors in Latin America, build relationships with our end users, and increase Optech's market presence in the region. With his assistance, Optech will be able to provide our Latin American customers with the best solution in terms of value for their investment and help them grow a profitable and sustainable business. Hailing from Venezuela, Fabricio previously worked for several large electronics companies in Latin America, including Samsung and Sony Ericsson, helping them to develop their business in the region and close many deals with telecommunications companies such as Verizon and the Telefonica Group.
Did You Know?

Three Layers of Assistance from Optech Services

Optech's commitment to our products extends from our factory doors and into the field. To help you get the best from your high precision Optech sensor system, the Optech Services team of knowledgeable professionals remains on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing you with timely assistance no matter where you are in the world. At Optech, we are accountable to our promises and we respect our clients, their investment and their desire to be successful. Optech offers a post-delivery support plan for 7 years and beyond.


24/7 Help Desk :  

Around-the-clock phone and email support solves operational, hardware and data processing issues, including GPS/POS.


Hardware Maintenance :  

In-field or in-factory annual inspections keep your system at original specification, and include cleaning, preventive maintenance, and tests.


Warranty Repair :  

Optech Service Technicians provide on-site diagnostic and repair services for all hardware components*.

*Special conditions apply for ITAR-controlled IMUs and thermal cameras

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