PE&RS September 2014 - page 837

September 2014
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is pleased to announce that one of the company’s lidar sys-
tems will be a critical part of NASA’s Origins-Spectral Interpretation-
Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx)
mission to study asteroid Bennu and return a sample from its surface
to Earth. Scheduled for launch in late 2016, the probe will use its
OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) to survey the entire surface of
the 500-m wide carbonaceous asteroid repeatedly over the course of
several months. The OLA will help OSIRIS-REx complete its scien-
tific and technical goals by creating a precise 3D model of the asteroid
that details its structure and volume, giving scientists insight into
Bennu’s density and composition; providing exact ranges to Bennu to
help interpret data from the probe’s other sensors; helping the probe
navigate towards and rendezvous with Bennu; and identifying poten-
tial touch-down spots on Bennu’s surface and surveying the selected
spot more closely to provide context for the sample’s origins.
Astronomers have determined that Bennu has a small chance of
colliding with Earth in the next century, so this mission is crucial for
determining the exact risk it poses and deciding how to steer it away
from our planet if it does come too close. In addition, because Bennu
is about 4.5 billion years old, the 3D model and sample returned will
help scientists understand the origins of the solar system and the
conditions in which Earth and the other planets formed.
The OLA incorporates two lasers that share a single receiver:
The long-range laser uses a powerful pulse to survey at ranges up
to 7 km, while the short-range laser fires up to 10,000 times per
second to create a more detailed model. Optech designed the OLA in
cooperation with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) and
the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and in recognition of this NASA
will provide 4% of all the material acquired from Bennu to Canadian
scientists for their analysis. The CSA recently received approval from
the Canadian Government Treasury Board for the flight development
phase of the OLA. For more information, visit
NM Group has acquired their fourth airborne lidar system from
. Orion C300 will greatly support the expansion of the com-
pany’s operations. Based in North America, Europe and Australasia,
NM Group (formerly Network Mapping) provides high-quality
surveying, asset management and engineering to a wide variety of
industry sectors by leveraging the latest remote sensing technologies
from Optech.
With clients in the electricity transmission and distribution,
railways, highways, oil and gas, mining and other sectors keen to
obtain the most value from a lidar-based program, NM Group decided
the Orion C300 was the perfect tool to support the asset management
and engineering services provided by the company. Specifically
designed for corridor surveying, the Orion C300 has proven its
ability to comprehensively map vegetation, the ground and multiple
layers of powerlines, all from a single lidar pulse without the need
for waveform digitization. In addition, the Orion C300 has a compact
form factor and is lightweight to help reduce fuel burn on helicop-
ters, includes real-time data visualization for in-air quality checks,
and uses a Class 1 eye-safe laser for safe low-altitude operation in
populated areas. For more information, visit
is pleased to announce the commissioning of a second
Optech airborne sensor for PT. Karvak Nusa Geomatika this week in
Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Optech Orion M sensor joins the Optech Gemini that PT.
Karvak has been deploying in Indonesia for the past two years.
According to Mr. Sofan Prihadi, Technical Director at PT. Karvak,
“Having a second sensor that shares many common features and
processing workflows is desirable, but it is also important for PT.
Karvak to have the high level of hardware and software support that
Optech provides, regardless of the sensor location. This expansion of
the excellent relationship between PT. Karvak and Optech is a result
of the high level of cooperation and trust that has evolved in the past
few years.”
PT. Karvak enjoyed considerable success with their initial Optech
lidar systems, confirmed by their recent award of an airborne lidar/
mapping project in excess of USD $10 million in a neighboring
country. As the project ramps up, both the Optech Gemini and Orion
sensors will be mobilized for the acquisition of high-precision 3D
data. For more information, visit
MDA’s Information Systems group (MDA) today announced that
it has signed a contract with the National Remote Sensing Centre
(NRSC) of India to continue to provide RADARSAT information until
June 2015.  NRSC has been using RADARSAT information since
1998 to support natural disaster and resource management.
David Belton, the general manager responsible for this business,
said “We are pleased to continue our long-term relationship with
NRSC, ISRO and the Government of India. For more information,
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