When would a LiDAR equipped drone like Elios 3 be not required?
LiDAR-equipped drone like the Scout 137 and Elios 3 provides the benefit of scanning the structure as the drone is inspecting it. This enables post-flight localisation of the photos. It goes to say that if the structure is relatively simple and the inspector is experienced, then LiDAR is good to have but not a must-have to complete the inspection. This is because the inspector will easily be able to locate the photos on the structural drawings.
Instead, a Lumicopter and Elios 2 will be sufficient to get the job done. Other evaluation criteria such as overall logistics and price of the system matter just as much.
In this example, the pilot had to carry his equipment to the entrance of the take-off site which might not be trolley friendly. A lighter equipment load makes the inspection faster and saves trips to and from the van.
LiDAR-equipped drones are generally a lot more expensive than other confined space drones. This might affect overall ROI and service pricing. Moreover, the depreciation cost per flight might be high. Even if you have an Elios 3, it might be prudent to still use an Elios 2 or Lumicopter for jobs that don't require LiDAR.