News Update

Airborne Snow Observatories, Inc. takes delivery of RIEGL VQ-1560 II-S LiDAR system

Jul 2021 | No Comment

Airborne Snow Observatories, Inc. has just taken delivery of one of the first in North America cutting-edge RIEGL VQ-1560 II-S airborne laser scanners, just as the ASO program at NASA pioneered the use of the first of RIEGL’s dual laser scanner, the LMS-Q1560 in 2013. This new LiDAR system, with its doubled laser power and high pulse frequency, will allow ASO Inc. to far more efficiently achieve its needs to uniquely measure snow water equivalent across extensive mountain basins.

ASO Inc. is a public benefit corporation that was created via technology transfer from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to continue and expand ASO operational snow mapping and runoff forecasting to the world’s mountains. Through coupling of RIEGL LIDAR, imaging spectrometer data, and physical modeling, ASO Inc. maps mountain snow depth, snow water equivalent, and snow albedo. This is accomplished with unrivaled accuracy and coverage, enabling reliably high accuracy streamflow forecasting for water management agencies, irrigation districts, and municipalities. With a changing climate, intense droughts such as that currently impacting the Western US, and increased demands on water resources, these paradigm-shifting measurements and forecasts are critical for modern resource resilience.

The ASO program already pushed its capabilities to map series of mountain basins on the RIEGL LMS-Q1560. Now, the greater capabilities of the VQ-1560 II-S are enabling ASO Inc. to optimize collections at higher flight altitudes over rough terrain and in tight weather windows while maintaining high point densities and surface detection over highly varying target ranges and forest cover densities. The new VQ-1560 II-S follows the successful concept of RIEGL’s proven Dual Channel Waveform Processing LiDAR Scanning Systems, now with increased laser power for ultra-wide area mapping. The VQ-1560 II-S is the latest model of maximum-productivity airborne laser scanning systems available from RIEGL for large, state-wide collection initiatives, urban mapping programs and/or corridor asset surveying. With increased laser power, the operational altitudes are extended, and these improved maximum ranges allow an increase of the system’s productivity.

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