"You don't have to be an Everton fan to work here..." but it helps? Using DJI L2 LiDAR drones to build a soccer stadium

DJI Zenmuse L2 at Everton stadium building project
(Image credit: DJI)

The DJI Zenmuse L2, the drone company's powerful new high-resolution LiDAR payload for Matrice drones is being used – together with the Terra app – to help Everton Football Club's new soccer stadium in Liverpool.

(Image credit: DJI)

The new 53,000 capacity stadium will replace Everton's existing ground, Goodison Park. Not only will the Premiership club gain capacity for more than 10,000 more fans, but will take advantage of some serious modernization since the club has been at the Park since 1892.

Drones are being used heavily in the long-awaited project (the first serious plan to move to a new stadium was drawn up after all-seater stadiums were made compulsory in the UK back in the 80s). 

DJI has taken the opportunity to air the Zenmuse L2 (as well as the L1 which, until now, would have been the choice for this kind of mission). The L2 is the latest version of the LiDAR system available as a payload for the Matrice M300 and M350 drones. The L2 is set to replace the L2 in all survey missions, and is being used in conjunction with DJI's software – DJI Terra – to provide detailed point clouds.

The Zenmuse L2 has another significant speed advantage over the L1 which has nothing to do with resolution – instant warm-up. While both will help generate accurate topographic maps, the L1 required about ten minutes for the IMU to warm up.

According to drone operator Heliguy (an operator involved in the project and a UK retailer of the system), the L2 brings measurably higher resolution, too. The L1 produced an absolute vertical error of 54mm, while the L2 narrowed that to 37mm when tested at an altitude of 100m.

LiDAR's ability to measure volume was extremely important to this job since it began with infilling Bramley-Moore Dock, which had to be packed with 500,000 cubic metres of sand dredged from the Irish Sea to help create a solid base for the stadium.

(Image credit: DJI)

The presence of drones has also helped Everton prepared cinematics for excited fans, and the 45-megapixel cameras can also be used to monitor the position of vehicles (plant) for maximum efficiency on the £550 million ($700m/AU$1.06bn) development.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook