LiDAR Mapping Made Accessible with DJI Zenmuse L1

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LiDAR Mapping Made Accessible with DJI Zenmuse L1

Announced late last year, DJI's first Livox LiDAR payload- the Zenume L1- was set to change the game. The L1 comes seamlessly integrated with the DJI M-300 and DJI Terra software, giving you a completely self-sufficient ecosystem. We were excited to test out the new system and took it to the field as soon as we got it; here are our findings.
Lidar-1

Capturing data with the Zenmuse L1 is intuitive and easy. Missions can be mapped and plotted through the DJI Terra software through just a few taps, and the data capturing itself is automated from take-off to landing. The payload itself comes with some clever features that ensure your data accuracy. For example, using the 360° circular beam gimbal, we carefully and precisely direct the sensor to minimize noise. In addition, the high-precision vision sensor IMU and GNSS data enables you to achieve a centimetre level of accuracy. One feature unique to the Zenmuse L1 that was instrumental in collecting precise data was the LiveView feature. The L1 can display point clouds in real-time; while other payloads may display basic point clouds in real-time, the L1 gives you a true-colour point cloud on site.  The LiveView features give operators the ability to make mission-critical decisions and ensure actionable data is collected.

The resulting point cloud is incredibly dense and accurate. As we can see in this example, the powerful LiDAR accurately maps out individual sand dunes with immense accuracy. In our previous article, we spoke about homogenous surfaces and the challenges they pose when generating orthomosaics. The L1, as we can see in the example, is perfectly capable of mapping the entire field with no issues. Furthermore, features that are either not easily visible or challenging to capture on a 2D orthomosaic pose no challenge to the L1. Using the L1, you can capture intricate details like powerlines or difficult to capture features like billboards and traffic lights. Our findings achieved a vertical accuracy of 5 cm and a horizontal accuracy of 2.5 cm. The L1 yielded an impressive 200 million points per km2, and with the enhanced 3D data capture of the payload, we were able to map up to 2km2 per flight.


When it came to processing the captured data, we turned back to DJI Terra. Through its rapid data processing, we processed a 30-minute mission in under 5 minutes! DJI Terra offers a LiDAR data processing solution that is exclusive to the L1 where the IMU data and GNSS data is combined when calculating the point cloud. Using the DJI Terra, we generated a complete recreation of the survey site with densely formed point clouds detailed to every last sand dune. The all-in-one drone mapping and processing solution DJI Terra provided us with resources to plan, visualize, process, and analyze aerial data. The processing time is quick and efficient. Being a locally-based software, you save time on uploading your data to the cloud- this even lets you process data on the field if necessary and provide near real-time insight.

The complete end to end integration in the DJI line of products is a massive benefit. You enter a fully self-sufficient ecosystem where DJI Terra handles the planning and processing, and the DJI M-300, in conjunction with Zenmuse L1, takes care of data capturing. The benefit of this is not having to invest in any third-party resources and subsequently wrestling with any incompatibility issues. It also leads to faster turnaround time and better data processing.


The trio of DJI products give you agility and accuracy on the field and time-saving and efficiency off it. Specifically, the L1 gives you the most value in regards to cost to results. Priced around the 10,000 USD mark, it makes LiDAR scanning more accessible to organizations and provides a viable and sustainable alternative to renting. The Zenmuse L1 sets a new standard for aerial LiDAR moving forward in terms of accuracy, efficiency, price and rich data- making it an important addition to any GIS professionals. Do you want absolute accuracy when carrying out your projects at an affordable price? The DJI L1 provides just that- If you'd like to get your hands on this exciting new payload, get in touch with us.

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Niiveth Mani

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