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Environmental Monitoring and Analysis using LiDAR Technology

September 22, 2023

In the realm of environmental monitoring and analysis, the accurate assessment of vegetation plays a crucial role in understanding ecosystems. Drones equipped with advanced imaging technologies have revolutionised this process by providing efficient and precise data collection methods. This case study highlights the use of the Mapper and Mapper+ LiDAR systems, along with their specific flight configurations, to determine the number of shrubs present on a designated site.

Mission Challenge

Accurate ground topography data is essential for understanding terrain variations, water flow patterns, and landscape characteristics. Traditional ground survey methods can be time-consuming and may not cover large or inaccessible areas effectively. The challenge was to acquire high-resolution ground topography data swiftly and accurately, enabling efficient decision-making for various applications.


The primary objectives of this study were as follows:

  • Utilise the Mapper and Mapper+ solutions for aerial data collection to determine the number of shrubs within a designated site.
  • Assess the effectiveness of the Mapper and Mapper+ in terms of flight time, image quality, and data accuracy.
  • Compare the results obtained from the two drone models and their respective flight configurations.


In this study, two LiDAR systems were used, the Mapper and Mapper+, both equipped with their camera modules. These solutions were integrated onto the IF12000A drone using the Gremsy quick-release clip. The Mapper+ was flown at a velocity of 5 m/s and a flight height ranging between 60 and 70 meters. Similarly, the Mapper was flown under the same conditions. The mission involved covering a surface area of 80,000 square meters.

The YellowScan Mapper mounted with the IF1200A
The YellowScan Mapper mounted with the IF1200A

Operating the YellowScan Mapper+ lidar system
Operating the YellowScan Mapper+ LiDAR system

Mission Parameters

  • Velocity: 5 m/s
  • Flight Height: 60-70 meters
  • Surface Area Covered: 80,000 m²
  • Flight Duration: Approximately 16 minutes with the Mapper+ and 19 minutes with the Mapper.


The aerial survey conducted using the Mapper+ yielded valuable insights. The data collected during its 16-minute flight provided a comprehensive understanding of the shrub distribution across the surveyed area. Similarly, the 19-minute flight with the Mapper of also captured detailed information about the shrub population within the same region.

Upon analysis, the Mapper+ showcased its efficiency by covering the designated area in a shorter time, owing to its faster flight speed. The high-quality imagery acquired by both LiDAR solutions allowed for accurate counting of shrubs. Furthermore, the data collected can be used for more detailed classification using specialised software such as the YellowScan CloudStation.

LiDAR point cloud
LiDAR point cloud of shrubs on site

Setting up each of their products has involved little more than getting it attached to the vehicle. The VX-20, Mapper and Mapper+ were all integrated seamlessly using both YellowScan mounting hardware or Gremsy Quick Connect mounts and tested in the field with great results.

Casey Viera

Operations Fleet Manager – Inspired Flight

Related Products

Like what you read in the case study above? Check out the product(s) below for more information or to download the relevant product datasheet (where available)