SAM, LLC, a leader in providing geospatial data solutions, will be the first company in North America to acquire and deploy the most recent major advance in aerial scanning technology, the RIEGL VQ-1560 II. The sensor will be installed in SAM’s new fixed-wing aircraft, a 2019 Cessna Grand Caravan EX, to further expand SAM’s national aerial mapping capabilities.

“SAM has always been an industry leader when it comes to adopting new technology,” said SAM President and CEO, Chris Solomon. “By combining this RIEGL scanner and new Cessna with our deep experience in aerial mapping, we continue to expand our capabilities and increase the value we deliver for clients.”

The RIEGL VQ-1560 II is equipped with a 4 megahertz, dual-channel airborne mapping system that can collect High Density (HD) LiDAR at up to a 2,450 meter swath or a density of 60 points per square meter from a fixed-wing platform. The sensor features two integrated 150-megapixel digital cameras that collect vertical photography simultaneously with HD LiDAR. One camera acquires RGB imagery to generate orthophotos at 2-inch ground sample resolution, while the second camera acquires imagery in the Near Infrared (NIR) band for multispectral analysis. This combination of enhanced capabilities will be beneficial for many different client types, including electric transmission clients needing richer, more detailed data for infrastructure and right-of-way analysis, or forestry and vegetation management clients needing to identify hazards and unhealthy trees.

The Cessna Grand Caravan EX housing the scanner is extremely well-suited for aerial mapping. Its ample payload allows it to transport a significant amount of equipment, and it can land on shorter runways than many aircraft, giving it access to more airports. Also, its ability to fly safely at 90 knots allows for the acquisition of denser point clouds and collecting greater detail of our clients’ assets.

The dual port aircraft allows for the installation of the HD LiDAR and vertical facing cameras plus two oblique sensors. These enable the simultaneous collection of oblique photos in a single flight. This innovative approach and leading technology efficiently acquires four datasets, providing advanced survey capability and quality for SAM clients.

SAM Vice President, Geospatial, Bob Williams emphasized how the new system will benefit SAM clients “The combination of this aircraft and aerial sensor will allow SAM to strategically place multiple systems throughout the country to reduce mobilization and response time,” Williams said. “This system allows SAM to efficiently acquire high-quality datasets that exceed industry standard specifications for remote sensing data acquisition on electric transmission and distribution, renewable energy, transportation, and oil and gas mapping projects. With direct control of its own aircraft, SAM has greater ability for rapid deployment to critical sites.”

SAM’s plans to deploy the Cessna Grand Caravan EX with the new RIEGL VQ-1560 II aerial scanner beginning in the first quarter of 2020.

About SAM, LLC

Founded in 1994, SAM has grown to become one of the largest providers of geospatial data solutions and construction phase services in the United States. The company offers a complete suite of geospatial services including professional land surveying, airborne/mobile/ terrestrial LiDAR, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE), Utility Coordination (UC), Building Information Modeling (BIM), aerial mapping, and photogrammetry. SAM also provides construction phase services through its wholly owned subsidiary, SAM-Construction Services, LLC (SAM-CS). Headquartered in Austin, Texas, and employing more than 1,000 professionals, SAM has the capacity to field more than 200 crews with the ability to mobilize quickly, perform reliably, and consistently provide quality deliverables. For more information, visit,