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February 10, 2022

N2 Highway Extension LiDAR Survey

N2 Highway Extension LiDAR Survey
N2 Highway Extension LiDAR Survey


Photo of Dean Engela, CEO of Darkwing Aerials
Dean Engela
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The remote and hilly landscape of the Transkei is legendary for its inaccessibility. The difficult terrain has kept the region isolated from the rest of South Africa for decades. That is all about to change for better or for worse. A new project to link the N2 highway directly to Durban along the Indian Ocean coast is about to bring modern infrastructure to this sheltered community.

However, the difficult terrain posed several serious obstacles for the engineering firm contracted to build the new highway extension. A suitable path had to be found between the hills and over the valleys of the Transkei. Darkwing Aerials was ready with the ideal tool for mapping this untamed landscape: Our brand-new Alta-X heavy lift drone mounting a Riegl LiDAR sensor unit. This formidable combination allowed us to survey the required 16km stretch of terrain in just 3 days.

The area of operations provided our drone team with several challenges. The varying height of the terrain interfered with transmitter signals. Visual contact also had to be maintained with the drone and its highly valuable payload. The capabilities of the Alta-X and experience of our drone team were able to overcome these challenges. The client was given access to laser accurate terrain data in record time.

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