Nose Pod NP680i Development

RIEGL presents its latest approach of integrating laser scanners in airborne surveying systems.  The new RIEGL NP680i is implemented directly into the “Universal Nose” of the Diamond DA42 Multi Purpose Platform.

The high performance RIEGL airborne laser scanner LMS-Q680i, equipped with IMU and a medium format camera, is now being fully integrated in a universal nose for the DA42 Multi Purpose Platform.  As a consequence, it won't be necessary to employ the rather bulky and heavy external belly pod for lodging the instrument in the future.

Key Features

RIEGL’s state-of-the-art airborne laser scanner LMS-Q680i offers an unmatched laser pulse repetition rate of 400 kHz, providing an effective measurement rate of up to 266,000 coordinates per second.  The LMS-Q680i provides the established industry-leading echo digitization for in-depth full waveform analysis, smoothly combined with multiple-time-around signal processing. This combination allows the user to benefit from high pulse rates even from high flight levels and thus, to achieve high measurement densities on the ground surface.

After years of successful cooperation, the two leading manufacturers Diamond and RIEGL decided to equip the new DA42 MPP NG with RIEGL’s latest generation airborne laser scanners.

The Diamond DA42 ”Multi Purpose Platform New Generation” is an innovative composite, twin-engine aircraft, with a standard installed new Austro Engine  (a Diamond subsidiary), a diesel engine (AE 300) running on Jet A1. The plane is designed for carrying multi-functional aerial sensor equipment, like large format digital aerial cameras, ie. EO/IR gimbals for surveillance and reconnaissance missions or RIEGL airborne laser scanners.


“As a result of our ongoing efforts in R&D and the improvement of scan speed (increased up to 400kHz) of our LMS-Q680i, it is now possible to attain better results while employing only one airborne laser scanner that is just mounted in a nose pod. The advantages for the user refer to both the better measurement results and the economic effect on the investment, as the NP680i requires only one scanner“, said Peter Rieger, Product Manager, Airborne Laser Scanning.

Handling of the system is remarkably easy as it is conceived with a focus on user-friendliness and flexibility in employment. It doesn't take but a few minutes to retool a DA42 MPP equipped with an NP680i, with another Nose Pod, like, for example, for a photogrammetric task - the field of potential applications is, thus, greatly extended.

"The NP680i has already been tested and operated on our company’s test plane –and it has withstood the test flights without any difficulties! Flight characteristics of the DA42 MPP are absolutely not affected, the low overall weight of the system allows additional payload or fuel and, therefore, a noticeably longer endurance” Finally, said Rieger,  “We've recently been fully approved - we received the EASA certification in mid-June.“

This new, really unique approach of integrating airborne scanners into the nose of the DA42 MPP represents a highly compact, flexible and efficient turnkey solution for airborne laser scanning.