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Tech trio Carbonix, RIEGL & Phase One revolutionise aerial surveying
Tue, 5th Mar 2024

Drone technology company Carbonix, provider of LiDAR sensors and systems RIEGL, and image capture software and hardware solutions manufacturer Phase One, have announced a milestone for aerial surveying and data acquisition. The collaborative effort has resulted in the successful merging of the RIEGL VUX-120 and Phase One iXM 100 medium format camera on Carbonix's pioneering fixed-wing VTOL platform, making significant strides in remote sensing and geospatial data collection for the mining and linear infrastructure sectors.

The combined sensing platform has demonstrated its effectiveness in Australia and the US, covering upwards of 12,000 hectares in one mission. This revolutionary feat has confirmed the profound implications of this combined technology for commercial operations; the ability to capture large scale, detailed, and colourised 3D models of infrastructure and terrain has set a new benchmark for the industry. In a showcase of superiority, this collaboration has emphasised Carbonix's unique long-range platform capability, establishing it as the industry's first to operate multiple survey-grade, high-resolution sensors concurrently.

The integration will provide Carbonix customers with access to numerous benefits, including high-density data acquisition, improved operational efficiency, extended endurance, and vast coverage capacity. The platform demonstrates superior resolution and colourisation for capturing high-density data crucial for precise analysis and insights. Its ability to deploy multiple sensors in a single flight maximises operational velocity and efficiency by streamlining data collection processes. Furthermore, the extended flight durations of Carbonix drones result in considerable cost savings of up to 80% as compared to both multi-rotor and manned aviation alternatives. In terms of coverage, with a scanning capacity surpassing 12,000 hectares or a linear distance coverage of up to 400 km per single mission, the drones enable comprehensive area mapping at an unparalleled scale.

Carbonix's CEO, Philip van der Burg, emphasised how this valuable partnership with RIEGL and Phase One has positioned Carbonix at the forefront of remote sensing technology, enhancing critical sectors with vital multi-dimensional information. He said, "By harnessing the synergy between LiDAR's precise 3D data, and photographic imaging's detailed surface, colour, and texture information, we can provide a holistic solution that enables users to see enhanced details about their asset, assess environmental conditions, and create digital twins with unprecedented accuracy."

Glenne Blyth, RIEGL Australia Managing Director, echoed these sentiments, stating that the partnership was expanding the boundaries of aerial imaging and mapping. He noted, "This collaboration is a big step forward for how we gather data from the sky, bringing us closer to a future where aerial surveys can be done with less risk to operational personnel, greater mobility and increased frequency."

Similarly, the Director of Product Management, Unmanned at Phase One, Michael Messerschmidt, underlined the essential role of scalability in the integration of drone-collected images and LiDAR data. He said, "In an accelerated and dynamic world, scalability is the key to keeping the digital world up to speed with the rapid changes in the real world."