Bluesky Purchases the Worlds First Fully Integrated LiDAR, Thermal and Imagery System

Coalville, Leicestershire, 11 July 2012 Aerial surveying company Bluesky has purchased a state of the art airborne mapping system which includes a LiDAR and fully integrated thermal sensor and high resolution camera. The system has been developed by Optech and combines the Orion M300 LiDAR, Long Wave Infrared thermal sensor and a CS-10000 camera.

The LiDAR (Light Imaging Detection and Ranging) system uses aircraft mounted lasers to accurately determine the distance between the sensor and the ground or other targets such as buildings and vegetation. Specifically designed to offer a cost effective, high performance solution at mid altitudes, the Orion M300 is ideally suited for applications such as electricity transmission network mapping, transport infrastructure modelling and environmental monitoring such as flood risk analysis and forestry management. In addition it will enable Bluesky to capture highly accurate 3D measurements from which to create some of their bespoke mapping solutions, such as the UKs first solar potential map and 3D city models.

The thermal sensor records infrared measurements and will be used for identifying heat loss from buildings and monitoring pipelines. It can be used simultaneously with the LiDAR or independently depending on the customers requirements. In addition the camera captures images of the target sites and again can be used simultaneously with the other two sensors providing customers with a wealth of coincident information for their area of interest; a complete solution and substantial acquisition savings.

The system chosen by Bluesky offers industry leading data precision and accuracy and is the worlds most compact system, offering flexibility in installation and use.

This is an important acquisition for a wide section of our clients. The availability of this sensor in the UK means that Blueskys new and existing customers will now benefit from having the very latest aerial technology at their disposal commented Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Leicestershire based Bluesky International. We undertook a rigorous review of all systems currently available before selecting this state of the art system from Optech; which we believe will allow us to fulfil some of the more technically demanding data acquisition projects required by our customers.


Bluesky is a UK-based specialist in aerial imaging and remote sensing data collection and processing. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky is proud to work with prestigious organisations such as Google, the BBC and Government Agencies.

Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography, 3D landscape/cityscape visualisations and prints and also runs a national mapping centre, providing digital mapping, satellite imagery and aerial photography including ultra-high resolution imagery of cities and towns.

Bluesky is now leading the way developing innovative solutions for environmental applications including the UKs first nationwide map of solar potential, citywide heat loss maps, 3D maps of trees and their proximity to buildings and historical imagery.

Optech is a pioneer in the development, manufacture and support of advanced lidar and imaging-based survey instruments. The Orion M300 from Optech is the worlds smallest complete LiDAR mapping system. Combining high-density data collection with high-precision results the M300 offers the latest in technology innovation and system design. The M300 includes multipulse technology and an effective ground sampling rate of 300 kHz significantly increasing the efficiency of data collection and the density of collected points. Incorporating the latest in narrow pulsewidth lasers and advanced timing electronics the M300 delivers high precision and accuracy to all target surfaces while maintaining enhanced small target detectability.

Additional enhancements include an expanded operating envelope via an all-new variable laser power option; new user selectable scan patterns for increased point-pattern flexibility; higher scan frequencies for improved point distribution; next-generation POS technology with a 220-channel GPS receiver; compatibility with Optechs new 12-bit IWD-2 Intelligent Waveform Digitizer; and compatibility with an all-new multi-station sensor platform enabling scalable tightly-integrated peripheral sensor options from Optechs diverse camera product line. The ultra-compact, modular design also feature multi sensor mounts, enables small platform operation and allows for ease of installation, portability and serviceability.

The T-LW640 thermal survey camera is based on an uncooled microbolometer sensor with a resolution of 640×480 and shares the core features of all Optech cameras, including the ruggedized construction of the sensor/lens assembly, integrated kinematic mounts, and geometric calibration. Designed for urban heat loss mapping, environmental monitoring, defence and security analysis and utility discharge detection the T-LW640 is integrated to create a unique airborne imaging solution.

The CS-10000 is the perfect digital aerial camera for LiDAR integration and small engineering surveys. An 80-Mpix full frame CCD, RGB camera the CS-10000 has a foot print of 10320 by 7760 pixels along the flight line and a capture rate of 1 frame every 2 seconds.