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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 4158370, 8 pages
Research Article

Novel Aerial 3D Mapping System Based on UAV Platforms and 2D Laser Scanners

Applied Geotechnologies Research Group, University of Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain

Received 3 August 2015; Accepted 10 December 2015

Academic Editor: Banshi D. Gupta

Copyright © 2016 David Roca et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The acquisition of 3D geometric data from an aerial view implies a high number of advantages with respect to terrestrial acquisition, the greatest being that aerial view allows the acquisition of information from areas with no or difficult accessibility, such as roofs and tops of trees. If the aerial platform is copter-type, other advantages are present, such as the capability of displacement at very low-speed, allowing for a more detailed acquisition. This paper presents a novel Aerial 3D Mapping System based on a copter-type platform, where a 2D laser scanner is integrated with a GNSS sensor and an IMU for the generation of georeferenced 3D point clouds. The accuracy and precision of the system are evaluated through the measurement of geometries in the point clouds generated by the system, as well as through the geolocation of target points for which the real global coordinates are known.