Our ingeneer have worked on a 3D mapping complete solution for bathymetry survey with drones. 

In which cases are CADDEN’s aquatic drones used?

Our drones are manufactured for bathymetric surveys in inland waters, dams, quarries or mines. To carry out this mission, our teams use a specific equipment system for bathymetry.

In the photo above, our engineers equipped this unmanned surface vehicle (also called “USV”) with R2Sonic’s Sonic 2020 multibeam echosounder for bathymetric data collection. This sonar is accompanied by SBG’s Ekinox inertial navigation system and Valeport’s MiniSVS sensor, which is used to capture the speed of sound in the water. This state-of-the-art equipment is used to provide accurate bathymetry in real time.

In addition to carrying out bathymetric surveys, our USVs combine numerous functions, including programming a navigation circuit which they will carry out autonomously and automatically during a full working day.

CADDEN SL40 aquatic USV

Realization of a bathymetric survey using lidar technology of a precise point of a river in Loire-Atlantique


What’s lidar?

Lidar technology adds a topographical vision to the functionalities offered by drones. Indeed, lidar is a laser remote sensing technology. The principle is based on remote measurement using a beam of light sent to an object and back to its transmitter. It is the same principle as sonar but using lasers instead of a sound wave.

What is this technology used for?

This technology performs many functions related to object or obstacle detection, as can be seen on some autonomous cars equipped with lidar. In our case, it allows complete topographies to be made around the drones during bathymetric surveys.

We are currently working with Velodyne’s VLP-16, whose laser range is estimated at 200m.

CADDEN 3D printer

CADDEN 3D printer


How did you integrate the lidar into your drones?

Our engineers created a custom-made base for the drones to accommodate the lidar on board. The base was designed and then manufactured in-house, using our 3D printer. The material used is largely made of carbon fibre, which makes the base very resistant.

The lidar is placed at the front of the drone in order to better distribute the weight. It is placed vertically to optimize the angle of the lasers in order to obtain the best possible 3D image. The scans are therefore carried out on each side of the UAV as well as above it, creating a complete topography in real time.


What is the interest of lidar on your drones?

Thanks to this integration of lidar, our drones are able to carry out complete imaging of an environment, whether underwater or in the air, autonomously and, once again, in real time.

For example, during a bathymetric survey of a port, the lidar will enable us to produce a 3D image of the shoreline above the water, while the sounder takes care of the submerged part. This eliminates the need for the operator to wait for the tide to change to cover the shoreline.

All in all, it is a gain in safety because the USV is at the heart of the action and allows the operator to manage and program the mission remotely. But it is also a gain in productivity because it incorporates several mapping functionalities in a single solution that can be managed by a single operator.

Result of the bathymetric survey with lidar technology

Result of the bathymetric survey with lidar technology


For more information about our USVs :