Elevating Workflows: DJI L2 Drone LiDAR’s Impact on Everton Stadium Development

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The DJI Zenmuse L2 LiDAR sensor stands out as a precise and efficient drone surveying solution, according to the team overseeing the construction of the £550 million Everton Stadium. The ongoing development at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool, with a capacity of 52,888, benefits from the L2’s capabilities, offering a detailed true-color reconstruction of the arena through a robust point cloud.

dji zenmuse L2

Select Plant Hire, a subsidiary of the main contractor Laing O’Rourke, conducted on-site tests affirming the L2’s improved accuracy. At a 100m flight altitude, the L2 achieved an absolute error of 37mm, surpassing its predecessor, the L1, which recorded 54mm. Throughout the project, drone LiDAR has played a pivotal role in tasks such as earthwork calculations and monitoring the infilling of the dock.

Key upgrades in the L2, including an increased return rate and higher sampling rate for improved object detection, promise enhanced efficiency for the Everton drone surveying team. The DJI M300 Series, 45MP P1 camera, and DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise have complemented the surveying efforts, providing valuable photogrammetry and visual imagery for regular site monitoring, progress updates, and logistics coordination.

dji zenmuse L2

The data collected, including cinematic aerial content, feeds into a 4D model digital twin of the Everton Stadium. Arran Scallion, overseeing Select’s UAV department, highlighted the vital role of drones in the development, noting the transformative impact of LiDAR technology in capturing vast amounts of data quickly and accurately.

dji zenmuse L2

During the infilling phase of Bramley-Moore Dock, the DJI L1 mapped sand levels, enabling precise planning and monitoring. Mr. Scallion emphasized the real-time information provided by LiDAR, facilitating daily monitoring and timely insights for stakeholders. The technology has also proven valuable for stockpile information and earthworks monitoring.

Comparing the L2 and L1, the L2’s enhanced capabilities, including a more concentrated beam, resulted in cleaner and more detailed data. The L2’s accuracy tables demonstrated superior vertical accuracy, enabling higher and faster flights for increased efficiency.

DJI Zenmuse L2DJI Zenmuse L1
Recommended Data Capture Speed15 m/s8 m/s to 13 m/s
System EfficiencyThe operating area of a single mission can reach 2.5km-squared.

Relative altitude: 150m; Flight speed: 15m/s.
The operating area of a single mission can reach 2km-squared.

Relative altitude: 100m; Flight speed 13m/s.
Detection Range450m @ 50% reflectivity, 0klx;
250m @ 10% reflectivity, 100klx
450m @ 80% reflectivity, 0 klx;
190m @ 10% reflectivity, 100 klx
Point RateSingle return: max. 240,000 pts/s;
Multiple returns: max. 1,200,000 pts/s
Single return: max. 240,000 pts/s;
Multiple return: max. 480,000 pts/s
System Accuracy (DJI-stated specs)Horizontal: 5cm @ 150m;
Vertical: 4cm @ 150m.
Both at 150m flight altitude, flight speed 15m/s
Horizontal: 10cm @ 50m;
Vertical: 5cm @ 50m.
Both at 50m flight altitude, flight speed to 10 m/s.
LiDAR Module: Ranging Accuracy2cm @ 150m3cm @ 100m
Inertial Navigation System AccuracyYaw Accuracy: Real-time 0.2°, post-processing, 0.05°;
Pitch/Roll Accuracy: Real-time 0.05°, post-processing, 0.025°
Yaw Accuracy: Real-time 0.3°, post-processing, 0.15°;
Pitch/Roll Accuracy: Real-time 0.05°, post-processing, 0.025°
LiDAR: Maximum Returns Supported53
LiDAR: Maximum Sampling Frequency240 kHz for all modes, including Penta240 kHz (single/dual echo mode);
160 kHz (triple-echo mode)
LiDAR: Scan Modes (including FOV)Repetitive scanning pattern: 70° x 3°;
Non-repetitive scanning pattern: 70° x 75°
Repetitive scanning pattern: 70.4° x 4.5°;
Non-repetitive scanning pattern: 70.4° x 77.2
RGB Mapping Camera4/3 inch;
20MP;
0.7 seconds shooting interval
1 inch;
20MP;
2 seconds (minimum) shooting interval

The upgraded L2 promises to further enhance LiDAR and photogrammetry data collection workflows, offering benefits such as increased speed, improved safety, and simultaneous LiDAR and high-resolution imagery collection.

dji zenmuse L2

Drone LiDAR data, along with other drone data methods, has played a crucial role in the Everton Stadium’s development. The integration of drone data with a digital 4D construction model on the Synchro platform allows the Laing O’Rourke team to monitor, manage, and identify efficiency opportunities in real-time.

Gareth Jacques, Project Director for Laing O’Rourke at Everton Stadium, emphasized the extensive use of drone technology in their immersive suite, enhancing construction management processes and collaboration with the supply chain. Drones have also been instrumental in external communications, providing updates to fans and clients.

The completion of the stadium, the largest single-site private sector development in the UK, is anticipated before the 2024/25 football season. Beyond its significance in sports, the stadium is expected to drive over £650 million in wider regeneration in North Liverpool, contributing to retail, tourism, and hotel occupancy in the local economy.