Mobile Acquisition Platform

In response to the need to acquire and process airborne LiDAR and related imagery at a remote location, GeoDigital International designed and developed MAP – The Mobile Acquisition Platform. Built around a highly customized utility trailer, MAP has over 5,500 cubic feet of storage, maintenance, and operational space available to support a five person acquisition and data processing team. This enables near real time geospatial data delivery and situational awareness in the field.

MAP is a unique mobile, airborne data acquisition and processing platform of its kind in the world. MAP can travel over 600 miles nonstop in rapid response mode to establish local acquisition and onsite data processing. MAP is designed to carry an MD500 helicopter and all of the systems required to remotely process LiDAR and imagery anywhere in North America.

Central to MAP’s capabilities is the MD500 helicopter, which can be configured with any of GeoDigital’s TCOR LiDAR and camera systems. MAP can acquire over 100 miles per day of detailed corridor mapping, or over 50 square miles of wide area coverage.

MAP was designed to address applications that include remote incident management, emergency response, disaster relief and support for wildfire mitigation.

Customer Benefits
The following is a partial list of the benefits that MAP provides:

  • Near real time geospatial situational awareness
  • Autonomously acquire and process data in the field anywhere in North America
  • Helicopter platform provides maximum flexibility and off-airport operation
  • Rapid deployment and re-location to meet shifting priorities and weather conditions
  • eMAP system tracks the crew and aircraft in real time
  • Ability to remotely process data within minutes of the helicopter touching down
  • Over ten terabytes of onboard data storage
  • Upload data to secure web portal providing real time access

Services and Deliverables
The following is a partial list of the services and deliverables that the MAP system can support:

Data Acquisition

  • LiDAR acquisition – corridor or block area
  • Multi-camera, high resolution image collection – downward and oblique views
  • GPS ground control data collection

Data Processing

  • Geo-referenced LiDAR point clouds
  • Rapid digital ortho-photo production
  • Ground survey network processing

Data Product Generation

  • 3D digital surface and elevation models
  • Above ground feature extraction and classification
  • Digital ortho-photos
  • GIS ready data tables
  • Vector planimetrics
  • Contour map generation
  • Colorized LiDAR point clouds
  • Data visualization and fly-throughs
  • Automated change detection

Principal Concept: Fully Self - Contained Mobile Mapping System

  • Concept developed in 2007, first deployed in 2010
    • Moves helicopter and support equipment between projects without limitations of weather or daylight flight
    • Data coverage checking and preliminary processing on-site, as required
    • Rapid Response capability – anywhere in North America in 3 days
    • Field Operations and Maintenance Center

Physical Description

  • Custom Tractor/Trailer combination
    • Overall Length: 79’ 6”
    • Height: 13’ 6”
    • Gross Weight: 56,000 lbs.
    • System Helicopter: MD 500 D/E

Aircraft Operations and Logistical Support

  • 200 gallons of helicopter fuel on truck for remote operations
  • 4 air conditioning units
  • 30 KW power generator
  • Air compressor
  • 60 foot pneumatic telescoping mast for antenna arrays
  • Elevates antennas above trees/ increases line of sight communication for radios and cellular communications system
  • Workshop for maintenance of:
    • helicopter
    • survey equipment
    • truck
    • spares

Operations and Flight Monitoring

  • Internet and GPS - based Flight Management and tracking of helicopters and support crew


  • Aircraft Radio
  • Satellite Phone, Modem
  • Redundant 3G & 4G wireless internet connection – multiple cellular networks

Data Processing and Management

  • Multiple data processing workstations for technicians
  • Server room, air conditioned
  • Server architecture, multiple computers and mass storage for data backup
  • Local secure network, both wired and local hot spot
  • Remotely linked through secure network connections back to corporate infrastructure


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