Webinar | Performing LiDAR surveys in hard to reach areas with complex elevation (case of Costa Rica)

UgCS: Flight Planning & Control
October 3, 2022

Discover why so many drone pilots are choosing UgCS for planning LiDAR missions.

In this webinar co-hosted by SPH Engineering and Topodrone, we went through the latest in LiDAR technology for flight planning and processing. You find out what are the key features to look for when choosing your LiDAR sensor as well as the software for flight planning and processing. The focus of this webinar was on the case of Costa Rica where we will discuss in-depth what is required for collecting quality LiDAR data in remote areas.


  • Introduction to UgCS EXPERT LiDAR toolset
  • Planning LiDAR area scan and corridor missions
  • Adding calibration actions
  • Using custom maps and elevation models for terrain following
  • Introduction to Topodrone LiDAR systems
  • Case of LiDAR flight planning in remote areas of Puerto Rico


Q: Is it possible to cache several maps in advance?

A: Yes, you can cache multiple map regions. Please learn more on UgCS Wiki »»»

Q: For large flight areas a battery swap requires. Is there a recommended way to pause the mission, return the drone to home, swap batteries, and then continue the mission?

Is that what the "hold" and "continue" buttons on the flight control window are meant to be used for?

A: It is recommended to follow safety regulations first. In terms of route continuation (depending on the drone model) it is possible to resume the route from exactly the point where it was paused or from any desired waypoint.

No, you will need to reupload the route. When reuploading the route, new option will appear: Continue route.

Q: How can I check in UgCS for DJI that a DJI L1 LiDAR is really collecting data during an LiDAR Area or Corridor Route?

A: LiDAR area and corridor scan tools automatically turn the L1 LiDAR on and off the same for other LiDAR. Adding a camera action will also ensure you will get images for a colorized point cloud.

Q: What vertical datum should the custom terrain raster be for terrain following?

A: It should be EGM96 geoid.

Q: Do you have common sensors like the DJI L1 already set in the UgCS?

A: We have a DJI L1 profile in the UgCS software. For other LiDAR sensors you don’t need to have a profile. It is sufficient to enter the FOV angle.

Q: What if the sensor is 360°?

A: In that case you can use the maximum FOV angle - 179 degrees. Alternatively you can also specify the side distance in meters, then the FOV value is not needed.

Q: Can you import a .kmz to start planning your mission?

A: You can import map vector layer as KMZ file. Please take a look at https://manuals.ugcs.com/docs/vector-layers

Q: Why drone fly two 8 figures at the start and finish?

A: It depends on the sensor manufacturer. YellowScan recommends performing calibration before and after flight for example. It is not needed for all sensors.

Q: How does more points affect the flight speed in corridor mapping?

A: It depends on the turn angle. Additional waypoints in a straight line do not slow the drone down in adaptive bank turn mode.

Q: May the UgCS “status” window be set to a location that does not overlay the route settings windows at the bottom left of the screen?

A: Yes, all log windows may be moved.

Q: I try to use L1 with UgCS Pro it but I was not able to put lidar on nadir, start stop, colorization or not, etc even with lidar tool. Why?

A: Lidar functionality is implemented only in UgCS Expert.

Q: How does rough terrain or changes in drone speed affect the quality of the product?

A: You can adjust the AGL tolerance to make the drone adjust more or less based on changes in the terrain. Drone algorithms determine the optimal speed in case of sharp ascent/descent slopes. Best drone positioning is achieved when RTK GPS is used.

Q: How I can change elevation models in UgCS?

A: There are several ways to change elevation models in UgCS. Please discover UgCS Wiki:

  1. How to import DEM data into UgCS
  2. Custom maps

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