TOPODRONE synchronized LiDAR and bathymetric surveying methods to study a floating solar farm in Israel – sUAS News – The Business of Drones

Montreux, Switzerland – TOPODRONE, a Swiss-based designer and manufacturer of high-precision surveying equipment, has synchronized airborne photogrammetry and LiDAR and bathymetric survey methods used to study a floating solar farm. The synchronization was done at the request of the Israeli drone service provider ERELIS to carry out a UAV reservoir survey pilot project for ETZ HADEKEL Ltd. in northern Israel. The surface of the reservoir is covered by solar panels, which made it difficult to work using standard methods of measurement from a ship.

ERELIS conducted two-stage drone surveys to generate a high-precision 3D model of the reservoir. First, LiDAR and aerial photogrammetry surveys were conducted using a DJI M300 drone equipped with a TOPODRONE P61 camera and a HI-RES LiDAR system to determine the location of potential obstacles. LiDAR scanning provided accurate detection of cables in the water.

Orthophoto, LiDAR point cloud, bathymetric data and 3D model of the reservoir bed © TOPODRONE

Secondly, an underwater bathymetric survey was carried out using a TOPODRONE AQUAMAPPER mounted on the same drone avoiding the detected obstacles (cables, solar panels and other objects). The flight mission was planned and executed with the UgCS software by SPH Engineering.

The collected LiDAR and bathymetric data were processed using TOPODRONE Post Processing software. As a result, a georeferenced orthophoto map, a 3D model of the relief and objects, a 3D model of the bottom of the deposit, contour lines and isobaths were generated. Such 3D models can be used for high-precision assessment of sediment volumes, general monitoring of reservoir banks, and visual monitoring. In addition, the survey with a TOPODRONE AQUAMAPPER made it possible to estimate the sludge deposits in the reservoir.

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“Our company has been performing drone-based bathymetric survey services for reservoirs/watersheds and coastal waters since 2021. The unique ability to use the same UAV (DJI M300) with different types of TOPODRONE equipment, LiDAR HI-RES systems , a high resolution camera and AQUAMAPPER, allows to unify the use of equipment, reducing costs and eliminating the need for additional tools. Synchronization of airborne and echosounder data at the post-processing stage helps to obtain the complete package of geographic data that could be used for surveying and data digitization, modelling, mapping, aerial photogrammetry, quantity estimation, or other output products on demand the client’s. ” commented Roman Kirsanov, CEO of ERELIS.

“In autumn 2022 we had our first customer AQUAMAPPER who used the device together with TOPODRONE LiDAR ULTRA for an EU road construction project to build a motorway in one of the most difficult terrain with a river component in Romania, EU. We are proud to see customers develop new application areas for our equipment, including reservoir characterization and modeling,” added Maxim Baklykov, CEO of TOPODRONE.

To learn more about TOPODRONE LiDAR and bathymetric solutions for reservoir characterization and modeling, join a free online webinar on January 26, 2023. Register at register/WN_T43KeI2uQU-8jbI7o4N21


TOPODRONE ( is a Swiss-based designer and manufacturer of high-precision surveying equipment for installation on UAVs, vehicles and backpacks. TOPODRONE hardware (LiDAR, high-resolution cameras and PPK) is used for 3D modeling and mapping. Application areas include, among others, forest and agricultural monitoring, construction and urban planning, and bathymetry. TOPODRONE’s advanced post-processing software provides users with innovative and easy-to-use data processing workflows for automatic data generation, georeferencing and alignment using GNSS and IMU data post-processing, and SLAM algorithms.

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