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High Accuracy Drone Mapping with Loki and the AirGon Mapping Suite

Author: Geocue, September 27, 2017

High Accuracy Mapping Requires:

  • A good camera and gimbal
  • Calibration
  • An adequate planning and navigation system
  • Reference to a geodetic network
  • Proper processing tools


Mapping Cameras:

  • Sensor size matters
  • A good mapping camera musthave a global shutter
  • Recommended DJI Cameras
  • Recommended and supported by Loki
    • X4s (Inspire 2, m200)
    • Phantom 4 Pro
  • Not recommended and not supported by Loki (all rolling shutters)
    • X3
    • X5
    • X5s


Does Cost of Platform Matter?

  • It is all about the sensor package, not the platform
  • Also consider risk/ return


Volumetrics/ Inspection/ Small Sites

  • DJI Inspire 2 with X4S camera is a fine solution for approx.. $3,750.
  • Lab Calibration is preferred
  • In Situ calibration (Agisoft Photoscan)
  • Poor camera calibration impact:
    • Vertical scale (gain) Error
    • Bias (offset) Error
  • Calibration options
    • Send to AirGon LLC for a flat rate of $100. Customer pays shipping to/from Huntsville, AL USA
    • Learn via AirGon Mapping Suite


Reference to a Geodetic Network

  • Local and network accuracy
    • Network (absolute)- how closely can I get to a point relative to a reference datum
    • Local (relative)- how accurate are relative measurements between points in the project
    • For connecting things, I generally need network
    • For measurements, I should be able to use local
  • Ground Control Points (GCP)- controlling, checking
  • Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Positioning
    • GNSS satellite positions are precisely known
    • Satellites broadcast coded signals with precise time information
    • Receivers can determine time of flight signals
    • Receiver uses triangulation to determine receiver location (X, Y, Z) on Earth
    • Accuracy is about 2.5 to 5 meters



  • Loki adds PPK to a DJI Drone
  • Septentrio GNSS Receiver Engine
  • MEP on DJI
    • MEP is complex- DJI does not provide a signal nor is there a flash for Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2 (X4s)
    • GeoCue has designed a “bus sniffer” using proprietary code on a Complex Programmable Logic Device (CPLD) to synthesize a MEP. This “personality module” replaces the SD card, providing “plug and play” integration

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