Optech's 4th Quarter 2014 Newsletter
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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.

Recent Conferences and Events

Optech receives positive feedback at INTERGEO regarding new product launches



This October, Optech was in Berlin, Germany for the INTERGEO 2014 geodesy conference and trade fair. Business Manager for Airborne Mapping Solutions, Michael Sitar, provided details on the newly released ALTM Galaxy and explained the advantages of PulseTRAK™ technology and its ability to significantly increase sensor productivity, while solving many current lidar collection challenges. He was also interviewed by GISCafe, which can be seen here.


Michael also received direct feedback that the Optech Lidar Mapping Suite is proving to be one of the most significant advances in lidar pre-processing software available anywhere. It truly is ahead of the market in its automated rectification and accuracy quantification and reporting capability. Such capability is pushing Optech sensors to even higher altitudes for equivalent accuracies, translating into higher efficiency and productivity. This is great news! Clients can expect a lot more exciting new things from LMS in the near future.


Meanwhile, interested attendees besieged Dario Conforti, our Worldwide Channel Partner Manager for Terrestrial Laser Scanner Products, with questions about the new ILRIS Scan UAV hardware and software solution. Thank you to everyone who came by the Optech booth, and we will see you all again at INTERGEO 2015 in Stuttgart!

Coastal & Marine experts head to Asia-Pacific to demonstrate CZMIL capabilities 


The last quarter saw Optech enhance its presence in the Asia-Pacific bathymetry market with presentations at several major tradeshows. In September, Optech CZMIL and its HydroFusion workflow displayed their latest results at SMART Korea, showing how well they penetrated turbid and muddy bottomed waters in the region. Meanwhile, Optech Software Manager Dr. Joong Yong Park attended Oceanology International China to discuss trends in bathymetric surveying and reveal new data fusion techniques that use a high-power green lidar and a hyperspectral sensor to provide unprecedented coastal environment information. In October, Optech Senior Scientist Dr. Viktor Feygels presented three papers written by him and his team at the SPIE Asia Pacific Remote Sensing conference, covering how to visualize lidar data using 3D voxelization, estimate water's inherent optical properties with lidar, and determine the suitability of bathymetric lidar for Asian-Pacific waters. With multiple bathymetric lidars already in use with the region's government agencies, Optech is leading the way in the Asian-Pacific bathymetry market.

The Amazing Canadian Space Race! 


Optech occasionally heads into space with projects like the Phoenix Mars Lander and the upcoming OSIRIS-REx mission, but in September space came to Optech in the form of the Amazing Canadian Space Race! As part of the 65th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Toronto, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronauts David Saint-Jacques and Jeremy Hansen raced around various space-related companies in the city to complete challenges at each one. One of Saint-Jacques' stops was at Optech, where he was greeted by Founder Dr. Allan Carswell and VP of Advanced Technology Dr. Paul LaRocque, then given the task of reflecting a laser beam through an obstacle course. After some frantic fiddling with mirrors Saint-Jacques succeeded at his task and dashed off to finish the race, which he eventually won. Optech is proud to be recognized as an important contributor to space exploration by the CSA, and wishes both astronauts the best of luck in their future missions! 

Successful Operations

Michael Baker International invests in second Lynx Mobile Mapper™ 


Two Optech Lynx SG1 Mobile Mappers are now collecting highly accurate data for one of the largest engineering firms in the United States, Michael Baker International. Baker International began building mobile surveying expertise when they acquired a Lynx V200 in 2009, and with significant Lynx hardware and software advances since then, they decided to acquire a brand new Lynx SG1 model and upgrade their existing unit to the SG1 specification. "We were amongst the first innovators in the use of Optech mobile mapping technology with our system acquired five years ago," said Robert Hanson of Baker International. "The high quality mobile lidar work that is produced by our in-house team of experts has earned a strong reputation." With two of the most powerful and accurate mobile lidar systems in the world in operation, Baker International has greatly expanded its capacity to provide clients with high-accuracy engineering surveys and asset mapping. In particular, the Lynx systems will be used to efficiently survey the US highway system in support of the US Department of Transportation's MAP-21 program to improve safety, infrastructure condition and sustainability. 

Bluesky wins huge tree surveying services contract with Orion  

Optech client Bluesky International has been delivering amazing results with its Optech systems, and this October it recorded another merited success when it won a record-breaking contract to survey vegetation around power transmission lines for UK Power Networks. Bluesky's Optech ALTM Orion M300 and Optech CS-Series digital cameras were fully utilized on this huge project to collect precise 3D data and imagery for an area of 30,000 km in the east and south of the UK to monitor vegetation encroachment and prevent tree-related power blackouts. The Orion is well-suited for such a role, with the ability to record separate returns from closely spaced targets, and reduce its laser power for improved eye-safety at low altitudes. Said Bluesky Technical Director James Eddy, "The combination of Orion M300 and the two integrated cameras, the RGB CS-10000 and thermal CS-LW640, allows an efficient and effective data acquisition method, enabling us to maximise our aerial survey time." Image to the right: Optech lidar, integrated cameras and controller in operation setup for Bluesky project (Courtesy of Bluesky).

New Indian reseller: Ansari Precision Instruments  


Optech is pleased to announce Ansari Precision Instruments Pvt. Ltd., an Indian surveying instrument company with over 7 decades of experience, as the new distributor of Optech's terrestrial products in India. Sajid M. Ansari, Managing Director of Ansari said, "We are the pioneers in the field of mobile and terrestrial lidar in India, having extensive experience in operating a variety of laser scanners. Our recent tests have shown that Optech's ILRIS is the top-of-the-line product relative to competitive systems, and consistently produces the highest quality data possible. We are very excited to be the new authorized distributor for Optech in India!"


Ansari Precision Instruments Pvt. Ltd.


Regd. Office: 261, Old Tehsil, Behind Id-gah, Delhi - Dehradun Main Road. 

Kashipuri Crossing, Roorkee - 247 667 India


Phone: (+91) 1332 261277 - Fax: (+91) 1332 264277 

Email: Email Contact 

Web: www.apiroter.com

Did You Know?

Help is close at hand in Optech LMS

How do you know whether you're using the latest version of Optech's superior data processing software? You can...

  • Check the latest Customer Advisory from Optech
  • Check Optech's FTP site
  • Contact Optech Services via e-mail or telephone
  • COMING SOON: A "Check for Updates" feature in LMS.

To explore LMS in more depth, we've developed several avenues of training, from short webinars to more formal training programs. If you're interested, please contact your Regional Sales Manager for further details.


It's another way that Optech Services supports you and your business success.