Terra Drone Invests in Lidar Technology - 25/04/2017


Terra Drone has announced an enhancement of its Lidar capability spanning the agricultural, construction and mining sectors. This follows the appointment of Lidar specialist Jeremy Sofonia, previously of Rhino Imaging, as Terra Drone’s business development – executive manager, based in the company’s Australian office in Brisbane. A Certified Environmental Practitioner and a specialist in the application of remote sensing techniques, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and aerial Lidar, Sofonia has more than 16 years’ academic and professional experience, including working on a wide variety of marine and terrestrial projects worldwide. Utilising Mr Sofonia’s extensive local experience, Japan’s leading UAV provider is now offering a range of enhanced services for its expanding client base in Australia.

In the agricultural sector, this includes utilising UAV Lidar across farms to help inform irrigation planning and erosion management strategies, such as for macadamia farms and wheat fields, as per recent projects undertaken by Mr Sofonia in partnership with local UAV operators. In the energy sector, performing a UAV Lidar assessment to support the development of appropriate management strategies related to power station operations, as per a recent project at a power station’s ash dam in New South Wales performed by Sofonia and other UAV operators. In the quarry sector, undertaking aerial surveys to assess excavation rates as well as stockpile volumetrics to provide an accurate aerial survey of a working quarry, as performed previously by Mr Sofonia in partnership with local UAV operators.

Australian know-how

Terra Drone’s Brisbane branch chief, Tsuyoshi Honda, said the company’s increased capabilities in Lidar would benefit a range of Australian industries, in a tie-up of advanced Japanese technology with Australian know-how. Terra Drone is determined to offer Australian clients proven solutions capable of delivering genuine productivity gains, cost savings and improved safety. Jeremy’s local knowledge and experience will be invaluable in this process, given his proven track record in the Lidar industry, Mr Honda said. Mr Sofonia said he is very pleased to join Terra Drone at this early stage in their development in Australia, and brings his local knowledge to support their expanding client base across the agricultural, construction, energy and mining sectors. Australian industry deserves the world’s best Lidar solutions and that’s exactly what Terra Drone will deliver, Sofonia added.

Since establishing its Australian head office in Brisbane earlier in 2017, Terra Drone has rapidly developed new technology for the benefit of Australian industry. This has included the launch of the Terra Powerlifter UAV series, offering up to two hours’ continuous flight time and capable of carrying a heavy payload of up to 10 kilograms, as well as the ‘Terra Explorer,’ comprising an unmanned UAV with a spherical cage for enhanced visual inspections of infrastructure and construction sites. Terra Drone is specialized in bringing advanced Lidar laser scanning sensors in the market, including post-processing of Lidar imaging. From preliminary planning to data processing, the company offers a total solution for surveys and inspections. The company is part of the Tokyo-based Terra Group, which includes Terra Motors, the company that pioneered the electric motorbike market in Asia, currently selling 30,000 electric vehicles a year.

Last updated: 19/08/2019