Fueled by the rapidly evolving Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market, the vehicular mobile mapping industry is poised for double digit growth. Market research firm, Mordor Intelligence, estimates that the mobile mapping systems market will grow to $249.85 million by 2020, a 16.34% jump over the next four years.
Key in the advancement is the emergence and application of ever smaller, lighter, higher performance components. One of the innovators in this growing market is LiDAR USA (also known as Fagerman Technologies). Established in 1999, the family owned business is led by Jeff Fagerman, founder and CEO, and his son, Daniel, the chief technology officer.
The Huntsville, Ala. based company is one of the industry leaders in custom lightweight, highly mobile LiDAR mapping solutions for ground, water and air—really lightweight. In the last five years, the company has reduced the weight of its LiDAR solution from 50 lbs to just 5 lbs, while improving performance and mobility.
Looking back, the younger Fagerman recalls, “We started a company with the idea that we would purchase a mobile LiDAR unit and focus on mobile surveying and mapping applications. But the price of a system that could do mapping and survey grade work was very cost prohibitive, especially for small business firms. They were large, clumsy and difficult to operate.”
Beyond price, the Fagerman’s found that the smaller, sleeker, more affordable units available that used Real Time Kinematic (RTK) (which brings its own set of limitations compared to post-processed data) were suitable for mapping grade, but not survey grade work. Jeff Fagerman says, “So, we decided to build our own.”