On August 25, we have successfully conducted the test flight, and test surveying of the PD4-BL (Aerial laser surveyor drone) at Ichimiya Heli Club Airfield at Kakamigahara City, Gifu Prefecture. The drone is equipped with a small laser scanner VUX-1 from RIEGL, which has the world’s widest view angle for a scanner of any multicopter. This development was a cooperative work between RIEGL Japan Ltd., Nakanihon Air Service Co., Ltd., Nikon-Trimble Co., Ltd., and Prodrone Co., Ltd., with Dr. Takeki Izumi of Tokyo Metropolitan University at the leading role. We have been meeting, discussing and making indoor test flights together. Without the support from everyone, its maiden flight would not be possible. The weather condition was very good, with less than 1m/s wind, despite the recent typhoon that was closing in.
The operation of the drone was done by Mr. Kamiya of Quest Corporation, who is also an attendee of the RC Helicopter F3C Japan Championship. He told us “The airframe is surprisingly stable. I thought it would be slow and immobile as it is a large airframe, but it was very mobile and responsive. It was very surprising” The data gathered that day is now under analysis.
PD4-BL (laser survey variant) will expand the potential of the VUX-1 compact laser scanner. We will continue testing the airframe, so please check back with us for further updates.