Swiss Alps to be Laser Scanned by Drones

A Swiss-Austrian consortium will test large-area laser scanning applications in the Swiss Alps, using innovative drones. The partners are Dufour Aerospace, RIEGL, BSF Swissphoto and the SLF, who will collaborate for a series of test flights over several months.


There is growing interest among various private and public stakeholders in high-resolution, up-to-date and cost-effective data, particularly in the area of alpine environmental hazards or energy production. Today, aeroplanes and helicopters are used for large-scale, high-resolution laser scanning. This test series will demonstrate the efficiency of drone application with a view to a lower environmental impact and significant cost reductions.

Dufour Aerospace will support the project with its 3-metre-wingspan AeroMini and 6-metre-wingspan Aero2 UAS platforms. RIEGL will provide the laser scanners and help with the integration. BSF Swissphoto will contribute to data validation and assess the commercial relevance of the technology and the processes. The WSL-Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF will ensure that the data quality meets quality requirements, and serves applied science use cases and supports the field test with experienced personnel.

Dufour Aerospace Co-founder and CEO Thomas Pfammatter said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of our AeroMini and Aero2 vertical take-off-and-landing uncrewed aerial systems in relevant applications. We’ll have a shared, clear aim of increasing efficiency in data generation medium and long-term, supported by renowned, experienced partners. We can’t wait to start.”


The test series is expected to begin this spring in Dübendorf, Switzerland, with basic functional tests and will then be extended to the Alpine region in the course of 2024 and 2025, depending on the results from each individual test series. This project is also supported by the Fondation The Ark and armasuisse.

Website Dufour Aerospace
Website RIEGL
Website BSF Swissphoto
Website SLF

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