Capture Point

When we were approached to help them capture some of Britain's ageing rail infrastructure for modernisation, our approach was to provide the most comprehensive data sets even conventional LiDAR couldn't capture. Our solution offered game-changing benefits that AMEY and National Rail simply couldn't ignore!


One of the main challenges for Network Rail (NR) was that historical design data for critical assets such as bridges and viaducts needed to be made available. With the rollout of the electrification programme, finding ways to get accurate data on existing assets to allow NR to design the Overhead Line Equipment was challenging. While traditional LIDAR scanning was the usual option, it meant costly line closures as it took considerable time to set up and capture the data. In most cases, traditional data capture could not gain full coverage due to accessibility issues such as rivers below or gaining line closures.


We worked with Riegl's UK agent to help configure and integrate the first-ever survey-grade lidar system capable of being mounted on a drone, their VUX-1 scanner, marking a pioneering step in aerial survey technology. Although the sensor was heavy with all the associated electronics and the RTK data link for real-time correctional data, we were able to build a solution within the 25 kg MTOM limit. Back in 2018, this was a challenge due to very few drone airframes available to carry this payload. We also devised a flight profile to allow highly accurate point cloud capture.


points per second

Data Capture


Field of View


Max Range




The LiDAR point cloud data was post-processed, classified, and independently verified as having an accuracy of within 3mm. This level of accuracy matched terrestrial scans and was the most accurate required by Network Rail for design work. To further highlight our achievement, we achieved better accuracy than Riegl's lidar drone, which was released shortly after. Riegl later reconfigured their system to reflect ours and published the more accurate capture specifications.

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