UAV Lidar Payloads

Fully integrated SABRE positioning and laser scanning technology for unmanned airborne laser scanning. The Sky3D simply bolts on to the bottom of most heavy lift (>3kg) capable multicopter or helicopter aircraft. The FARO Focus model operates a phased based laser scanner which is capable of up to 1million point per second, 120m range with a laser accuracy of 2mm and a repeatable high precision positioning accuracy which GPS and GLONASS can attain. The system has a built-in embedded computer, IMU, GPS, GLONASS, and networking capabilities so that you can operate and initiate the system via WIFI. Static and airborne initialisation of the system takes under 5 minutes before scanning commences. The scanner can obtain 310 degrees field of view and can be operated up to 400ft to obtain the data. The SABRE Sky-3D Positioning and Orientation System can also be integrated with other third-party laser scanners and sensors.

SABRE Sky-3D™ UAV LiDAR model options:

  • SABRE Sky-3D for use with any of the Range of FARO Focus laser scanners.
  • SABRE Sky-3D for use with Single SARBE S80 Laser Scanner.
  • SABRE Sky-3D UAV LiDAR Sensor Payload with FARO Focus3D laser scanner is 7.9kg Dry Weight (Weight with Battery ~8.4Kg).


SABRE Sky-3D UAV LiDAR sensor payload mounting to an appropriate UAV Platform

  • This SABRE UAV LiDAR System can be fitted to other commercially available UAV or drone platforms, payload permitting. The SABRE Sky-3D can also be mounted on a vehicle with suitable attachments.  

SABRE Sky-3D F-3D model S-S80 (time-of-flight laser)

The SABRE S80 laser is a lighter-weight laser more suited to penetration of vegetation and forest canopy that produces ~58K Points per second. The SABRE S80 laser has 5 hits/returns typical distance range up to 80 metres. The Screen image to the right shows the ability of the time-of-flight laser to penetrate forest tree canopy. After four years of continuous development in laser, the inertial measurement units IMU, GPS/GLONASS integration have been combined to produce the SABRE Sky-3D UAV LiDAR Remote Sensor Payload system. Weighing in at 5.4Kg for the SABRE Sky-3D S80 and 8.4kg for the SABRE Sky-3D F-3D the FARO Focus based solution. The system can be attached to most heavy lift UAV or Drone, VTOL, Multirotor, Helicopter or manned aircraft platforms on the market. This system is suited for many applications where surveying with LiDAR and camera technologies are needed to produce high detail, accurate 3D models of terrain or structure. Currently, the Sky-3D is able to be used with any of the FARO Focus3D models of laser scanners (X330, X130, X30 S120 using phased-based laser) and also a SABRE S80 laser which is a multiple return time-flight type laser.

SABRE Sky-3D F-3D (FARO Focus3D Compatible)

The FARO Focus used with standard helical settings for mobile or airborne laser scanning produces ~500K points per second. SABRE Sky-3D S-S80 (Single-S80) The SABRE S80 laser is lighter-weight model more suited to penetration of vegetation and forest canopy this produces ~58K Points per second. The SABRE S80 laser has 5 hits/returns typical distance range up to 80 metres.

Highlighted Technical Specifications

Details Can Also be Provided on Enquiry

This SABRE Sky-3D UAV LiDAR sensor payload system is a repackaged version of the vehicle-mounted SABRE-Scan equipment. The SABRE-Scan can be used with Sonar sensor for Hydrographic Surveying as the SABRE LiDAR systems come with hardware and acquisition/processing merging Software that is part way towards bathometric surveying capability. UAV LiDAR – SABRE Sky-3D F-3D™ Payload Weight Sky-3D F-3D™ UAV LiDAR with FARO Focus and Applanix™ AP15 IMU .The payload weight of the Sky-3D F-3D™ AP15 systems with FARO Laser is 8.4kg. (NOTE: Dry Payload Weight: 7.9kg, With Battery Weight 8.4Kg)


For use with FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner Range. Sold separately without FARO Focus 3D Laser Scanner. Compatible with FARO Focus3D Laser Scanner Range: The whole range of FARO Laser Scanners can be used with the SABRE-Scan System.

SABRE Sky-3D S80™ UAV LIDAR sensor payload

SABRE Sky-3D S80™ Kit: SKY-3D I-NAV Unit with embedded PC, dual SABRE Trimble GPS antennas, AP15 IMU, single SABRE S80  laser head, SABRE Point Stream MM™  laser tagging software, POSPac Trajectory software and Dongle licence key for software. SABRE S80™ Laser – ~58kHz Points per sec 20 lines per sec, 10mm res, 80m range

UAV LiDAR – SABRE Sky-3D S-S80™ Payload Weight

Sky-3D S80™ UAV LiDAR with FARO Focus and Applanix™ AP15 IMU

The payload weight of the Sky-3D S80™ AP15 systems with FARO Laser is 5.4kg.

(NOTE: Dry Payload Weight: 4.9kg, With Battery Weight 5.4Kg)

SABRE Sky-3D S80™ – Airborne UAV LiDAR Point Cloud Data

A Single SABRE S80 laser head will give you 117 points per square meter at a 40m height and 7 kmh. Dual head SABRE S80 Laser will give you 234 points per square meter at 7 kmh. The laser is a multi-point return which will enhance DTM and DEM profiles. 10mm point resolution with an expected accuracy XY (horizontal) of ~50mm and Z (Vertical) ~60mm with an AP15 IMU. The SABRE S80 model UAV LiDAR system provides survey-grade accuracy and enables penetration of vegetation and forest/tree canopy with its multiple-hit (5 returns) TOF (time-of-flight) type laser scanner utilised.

SABRE Sky-3D F-3D™ (with FARO Focus3D – Airborne UAV LiDAR Point Cloud Data)

A Single FARO Focus3D laser scanner will give you 1,016 points per square meter at a 40m height and 7 kmh. Expected accuracy XY (horizontal) of ~20mm and Z (Vertical) ~30mm. The FARO Focus3D used with the standard helical settings produce 500K points/second using a phase-shift (phase-based) type laser.

SABRE Sky-3D F3D™ Kit Options (for FARO Focus):  

Sky-3D F-3D™ is the SABRE UAV LiDAR Payload sensor for use with the range of FARO Focus models (X330, X130, X30 and S120)

Further to this you can run the system without any ground control, typical setup time 40 mins when onsite, 30 min flight (20 acres) and 2 hour processing of the survey. From the 3D point cloud generated from post-processing further processing can be performed to produce topographic maps with high accuracy and point resolution.
Recommended operational survey speed <10km per hour and survey flight height of 40 metres above ground level (AGL).

SABRE Sky-3D™ UAV LiDAR Mechanical Mounting Options

Custom mount to attach to UAV Platform

SABRE Sky-3D™ sensor payload fitment to a Third-Party UAV: A custom built adaption plate and if necessary a modified UAV landing-gear can be designed and fabricated for attachment between a UAV system Platform and the UAV LiDAR Payload.
Given the provision of sufficient information, we offer design and fabricate of an adaptor/bracket to accommodate the UAV LiDAR sensor Payload for fitment to alternative UAV undercarriage or payload mounting facilities.

Options listed below for attachment of the SABRE UAV LiDAR Payload to a Third-Party supplied UAV/Drone:

1.    Custom SABRE-Scan™ Designed Mount to connect to Third-Party Drone.
Requirements for supply: Technical detail for attachment points and available space.
Note: Landing gear should be of suitable height and space to fit Laser Scanning Equipment.
The design of the Legs/Undercarriage/ Landing gear needs to be considered for Vertical Field of View for LOS (Line-of-Sight) for the Laser. . 2.    Suitable mounting or adapter can be made by yourself or another supplier in order to mount the SABRE Sky-3D™ UAV LiDAR sensor payload.

Field Operations and Processing

Laptop with Wi-Fi is required for field operations and data processing for the SABRE Sky-3D™ UAV LiDAR sensor payload.

SABRE Sky-3D™ UAV LiDAR Sensor Payload Operations Workflow

Principally, the operation and data processing of the UAV LiDAR follows the same methodology as the vevehicle-mountedABRE-Scan mobile mapping equipment.

Please also find below: SABRE-Scan Operational Workflow for the SABRE-Scan mobile mapping.  General Operation Workflow/Process/Procedures:

  • SABRE Sky-3D UAV LiDAR Sensor Payload attached to the UAV Platform.
  • GNSS Base station is setup above a reference point for the duration of the survey (setup in a secure location or looked after during the survey). Recommended maximum radius of operation from static Base Station setup location 20km.
  • SABRE Sky-3D UAV LiDAR Battery Connected.
  • The SABRE Sky-3D is statically initialised to setup the inertial navigation system for 5 minutes, followed with some flight manoeuvring prior to starting the laser recording along the initial flight-line to be mapped over.
  • The survey area route is flown in order to obtain achievable coverage. Data is validated before demobilisation of the vehicle equipment and Base Station.
  • UAV Platform and Sensor Payload is landed.
  • After completion of the flight or survey; log statically to allow SABRE Sky-3D™ inertial navigation system to collect data for 5 minutes.

Mnemonics: SABRE i-NAV Unit – SABRE-Scan™ Unit without the FARO® Focus3D™ Laser Scanners installed.


New MK2 systems brochure for the Sky3D UAV Lidar system now available, this will be updated shortly to download on this page. Sky-3D S80 58k points per second 2cm positional accuracies Payload weight 5.4kg (with battery) Sky-3D Focus3D 500k points per second 2 cm positional accuracies Payload weight 8.4kg (with battery) Sky3D UAV Lidar systems can also be integrated with many other laser scanning heads like Velodyne and Riegl

SABRE Sky-3D UAV LiDAR system – Drone Platform remote sensor payload package Achieve survey-grade accuracies Light-weight and durable Please enquire about sensor integration with our SABRE Sky-3D Positioning and Orientation Systems: Airborne laser scanners, photogrammetry cameras, multispectral, infrared sensors and software.    

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