- Before starting
- Mounting the Rev 7 LiDAR
- FARO Connect software
- Available Training
- Maintenance and care
- Guidelines for data gathering in different environments
- Support and contact information
- Technical Specifications
- Accuracy Report
Unboxing the LiDAR package
When you have received your new LiDAR, make sure that the package is not damaged externally. If any substantial damage can be seen on the package, make sure to contact our customer support before opening it. Although the LiDAR is protected by a thick layer of packing material, do not use something that could scratch the payload lens to open the package.
Once the package is open, you will find your new Ouster Rev 7 OS0 128 beam and a set of spare screws you may need to fix the LiDAR to the drone. Pay attention while managing the LiDAR not to pick it up and handle it directly from the lens and make sure not to place the lens in direct contact with any abrasive material that may risk damaging it.
Now that you have removed the LiDAR from the package, conduct a first visual inspection of the product to make sure that it is not damaged. In particular check for any scratches or abrasion on the lens or any broken pieces on the casing.
Tech specs Rev 7 LiDAR
For the latest and most accurate technical specifications of the Ouster Rev 7 OS0 128 beam, we suggest you visit the Ouster website at the following link: https://ouster.com/downloads.
Tech specs Elios 3 drone for surveying
All the information you may need regarding the Elios 3 Surveying Payload can be found at the following link: https://www.flyability.com/elios-3-surveying-payload.
Please be aware that the Rev 7 LiDAR is 53 grams (1.8 ounces) heavier than its predecessor, the Rev 6.2, and therefore the Elios 3 drone's technical specifications may vary when paired with the Rev 7 LiDAR. For the updated technical specifications please download the relevant document found here.
The main differences we recommend keeping in mind are the following:
- The maximum operating temperature has been updated to 48° C
- The maximum operating height is now 2700m AMSL
- The Elios 3 Surveying flight time has been updated to 9 minutes
Check your Elios 3 and Inspector software versions
To operate the Surveying Payload you will need a version of the October 2023 release (2023.09) of the E3 onboard software, Cockpit and Inspector, or any later update. See here all the information about the Elios 3 system updates. To install the updates, you should open Inspector with your computer connected to the Internet, where you will be prompted with a pop-up to upgrade. Then, when you connect the drone to Inspector, Inspector will prompt you to upgrade your drone. Finally, Cockpit will prompt you to upgrade itself when your tablet is connected to the Internet.
After updating your Elios 3, when it is connected to Inspector, this is the version number you should see in the “drone” tab of Inspector (or any later release):
In the Cockpit info tab, you should also see the following results (or later release):
Once the LiDAR is plugged in and the system is updated, the drone will automatically detect the Rev 7 LiDAR and you will be ready to do your first flight. To check if the new Rev 7 LiDAR is correctly paired to the drone make sure that the LiDAR serial number found on the info page of the cockpit under payload corresponds to the serial number on the Rev 7 LiDAR you received.
Testing the setup
Before performing your first mission with the Elios 3 Surveying Payload, we suggest that you conduct a flight and mapping test in a safe environment. This step is important to make sure that everything is working properly and that you can recover the drone safely in the case of any failures. Therefore, it is recommended that you pick an open room area where you cannot lose the drone.
Mounting the Rev 7 LiDAR (if purchased separately)
The Ouster Rev 7 is only compatible with the Elios 3. Elios 1 and Elios 2 drones cannot be equipped with this payload.
Tools and accessories needed
To replace the Rev 6.2 LiDAR with the Rev 7 LiDAR you will need a T8 torx screwdriver and a torque adjustable driver, adjusted at 0.4 Nm, which were previously provided to you in the Elios 3 standard toolbox. No additional tools will be needed for the replacement process. If for any reason you have lost the screws needed to mount the LiDAR payload to the drone an additional set of screws can be found in the package where you received your new LiDAR.
Step-by-step installation process
1. Removing the old LiDAR (Rev 6.2)
Before removing the LiDAR assembly from the electronic body, we recommend you turn the Elios 3 upside down while securing the LiDAR with two fingers, as per the video instructions, that you can find on our dedicated support page.
Disconnect the LiDAR cable from the drone by pulling the connector ring. Please make sure not to remove the cable on the LiDAR side, as this connector is glued in place and removing it would break the LiDAR sensor. Please make sure that no dust or other material enters the connector while it is removed.
Remove the two outer screws that attach the LiDAR support to the drone with the Torx T8 screwdriver. The two inner screws should be left untouched since they fix the carbon frame to the central housing of the drone.
Now you can slide the LiDAR assembly out of the drone.
2. What to do with the old LiDAR (Rev 6.2)
If you have both LiDAR payloads at your disposal, we suggest you use the Rev 7 LiDAR for missions where high-quality data, range, and 3D mapping are essential. On the other hand, we suggest using the Rev 6.2 LiDAR when performing very challenging inspection missions and risk losing the drone or when performing just visual inspections and can avoid collecting the big datasets created by the Rev 7.
Before storing the LiDAR payload, we suggest you clean it, remove any particles on the lens, and then place it in an area where it doesn’t risk getting damaged. Additionally, do not place it in a dusty environment where particles may enter the cable (see section 5 for the complete maintenance procedures).
3. Attaching the new LiDAR (Rev 7)
Before inserting the LiDAR assembly, make sure that the slot in which you slide the LiDAR mount is free of dirt and dust, so you can slide it to the end. The same goes for the LiDAR mount, it should be clean prior to its installation. Then insert the LiDAR assembly by sliding it into place.
After turning the drone upside down while securing the LiDAR with two fingers, as per the video instructions which you can find on our dedicated Support Page, tighten the 2 screws with the T8 screwdriver attached to the torque control driver adjusted at 0.4 Nm. Those 2 screws will maintain the whole structure, so it is important that you tighten them correctly.
Once the LiDAR sensor has been fixed to the drone, you need to connect the cable to the “LiDAR” connector. To do this, align the dot on the rubber of the connector on the LiDAR side with the white dot of the connector on the drone side. You will know that the cable has been well connected once you hear a clear audible click. If you do not connect the LiDAR sensor properly you risk having an intermittent connection in flight, which can lead to problems with your data-gathering efforts.
Please make sure not to try to remove the connector from the LiDAR directly, as this isn’t meant to be removed and will break the LiDAR if you do so. Also, please pay attention that no dust or other particles enter the cable and connector while the LiDAR is removed. For more information on how to remove and attach the LiDAR, please refer to this page: https://knowledge.flyability.com/elios-3-maintenance#lidar.
To learn more on how to download FARO Connect or how to migrate from your GeoSLAM Connect account to a FARO Connect account please visit this page: https://knowledge.flyability.com/faro-geoslam
To leverage the data collected during flights, Flyability has partnered with FARO Connect to provide you with a more efficient and high-quality data processing tool. Using FARO Connect may be unfamiliar at first so we have created some specific training material to assist you in this phase and help you take your processing skills to the next level. You can find all the available material from Flyability by visiting that page:
Maintenance and care
Handling the LiDAR
Avoid touching the lens of the Rev 7 LiDAR when possible and do not use equipment that may damage the LiDAR lens while handling the payload. Properly cleaning and storing the LiDAR will reduce the risks of damage and can extend the life span of the product. Be aware that strong collisions may also be harmful to the payload and therefore it is not suggested to store it at height.
Cleaning the LiDAR
It is important to clean the LiDAR after every mission, especially in dusty conditions. Particles that fall on the LiDAR lens could end up scratching it and leading to a lower scanning quality in future inspections if not dealt with properly. It is therefore important to clean the payload once you have finished using it.
First of all, we suggest using compressed air cans to remove any dust or material from the lens and then using a clean microfiber cloth to wipe the lens. When working in particularly dusty environments we suggest doing this between flights. It is important, however, to avoid using any type of solvent to clean the lens, as this could potentially damage the LiDAR window, affecting its performance.
Storing the LiDAR
It is suggested to store the LiDAR either in the Elios 3 case or in the original box in which it arrived (if you purchased the Rev 7 LiDAR separately from the drone). Although no damage should occur, we suggest storing the payload in a dark environment and at room temperature. Please pay attention that no dust or other material enters the LiDAR cable and connector.
Guidelines for Different Environments
For all the information regarding how the Rev 7 LiDAR reacts to different environments please refer to the Accuracy Report which you can download here. Please be aware that the success rate provided for the payload is not guaranteed and that you should be particularly cautious about the mapping guidelines for the following scenarios:
- Highly reflective environments can cause noise in the scans as the Rev 7 LiDAR has a much higher sensitivity to reflective lights compared to the Rev 6.2.
- Very challenging symmetrical environments. A very challenging symmetrical environment is one with very few geometric features or texture in prolonged straight areas (greater than 30-50 meters), as well as a diameter of less than 2 meters. Examples of environments with these features could include narrow sewers like the one you can see below.
- Very confined spaces with a diameter lower than 1 meter.
We also recommend turning on the Elios 3 Surveying Payload just before the flight and turning it off as soon as the mission is complete because the Rev 7 LiDAR collects millions of points every second that it is turned on, even when not flying. For a more concrete idea of this, consider that each minute that the drone is turned on, the LiDAR will collect around 1 GB of data.
Support and Contact Information
For all support information please access the Flyability Knowledge Base at the following address https://knowledge.flyability.com/surveying-payload or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In all cases, if you need support for FARO Connect linked to a Flyability product, such as the Elios 3 with the Surveying Package, please contact Flyability support directly.
Access, download, or print the Surveying Payload technical specifications here.
Access, download, or print the Surveying Payload accuracy report here.