Zeroing In on the Market for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Velodyne LiDAR Announces New Puck LITEŒ

Velodyne LiDAR

New Featherweight 16-Channel Sensor Checks in at 590 Grams, Ideal for UAVs; Product to Make Public Debut at ILMF

Aiming at the burgeoning market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Velodyne LiDAR today unveiled its new Puck LITEŒ at 590 grams, the world’s lightest 16-channel LiDAR sensor. Puck LITE will make its public debut on Feb. 22 at ILMF, the International LiDAR Mapping Forum, in Denver (Velodyne LiDAR Stand #30).

International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF) is a technical conference and exhibition showcasing the latest airborne, terrestrial, and underwater LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology as well as emerging remote-sensing and data collection tools.

With a 30-degree vertical field of view and a range of 100 meters, Puck LITE builds on the success of Velodyne’s VLP-16 LiDAR Puck. Puck LITE matches the features and specifications of the VLP-16 and does not compromise on performance – and still manages to achieve a lower weight. Unveiled in late 2014 as a “product of the future,” the VLP-16 — a 16-channel, real-time 3D LiDAR sensor that weighs 830 grams — has literally taken off. At UAS/UAV Mapping Forum last fall, the company announced that more than 1,000 VLP-16 sensors have been sold since the product’s formal unveiling the previous year.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the global UAV market is set to grow at a 34.36 percent CAGR from 2015 to 2020, with UAV shipments to reach 3.8 million units in 2020. “The UAV market is clearly in high-growth mode,” said Ravindra Puranik, market analyst, and Sachin Garg, Research Manager, MarketsandMarkets. “Moving forward, we look for LiDAR technology to become an even more integral part of mobile mapping, surveying, inspection and navigation.”

Weight remains a critical parameter for operating UAVs; the lighter the UAV – including the sensors it incorporates — the longer the flight time. Puck LITE addresses the requirements from UAV operators by reducing sensor weight by almost 30 percent, thereby enabling longer flight times while providing the same high level of performance as the VLP-16.

“The Puck LITE is a natural follow-on product to the VLP-16 and was designed expressly to exceed the exacting requirements of the UAV market,” said Wayne Seto, Product Line Manager, Velodyne LiDAR. “For UAVs and aerial 3D mapping applications generally, weight is everything. Our new offering retains all of the power and capabilities of the original Puck in an even lighter package.”

Velodyne LiDAR is now accepting orders for Puck LITE, with initial production scheduled for April.

-Velodyne LiDAR