Drones, Metric Mapping and RTK
Published On: May 07, 2015
We have been very busy this first third of 2015 with software development (as we always are). The thing about software is that it is never static. It is either undergoing new additions or entering the end of life phase. We have had a very big focus on ensuring that our products are optimized for LAS 1.4 support as this is the new requirement of the USGS. Additionally, we like to use LAS 1.4 in our mine site workflows since it supports a few nice capabilities that were not in LAS 1.3.
This is definitely the year of the drone. Every major geospatial hardware firm has announced a drone system for remote sensing (some for metric mapping). While the USA is inching along toward some usable drone rules, other countries have clear rules in effect and drone mapping is becoming a standard survey/mapping tool.
We are garnering a very high interest in AirGon's Metric Mapping Kit (MMK). This solution provides everything you need to do uncontrolled mapping projects using a small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) except a processing laptop computer. Add in your own surveyed control points to reach survey grade accuracy.
Speaking of the Metric Mapping Kit, we will be hosting a AV-900 MMK workshop in Toronto, Canada on June 11th and 12th. Thanks to Jim Giordano, we will be presenting live flight demonstrations at VicDom Sand & Gravel as well as an in-depth look at mission planning and post-collection data processing. Our focus will be on drone-collected volumetrics. Personal protection equipment (steel toed boots, hardhat, safety vest and safety glasses) are required. Remember that a passport is required for travel between the USA and Canada. Space is extremely limited so sign up early!
We have been (in a joint project with Applanix, a Trimble Company) researching the use of Post-Processed Kinematic (often erroneously called Real Time Kinematic, RTK) control solutions. Obviously everyone flying a sUAS for metric mapping purposes would like to dispense with the tedium of deploying ground control. We will publish the results of our efforts as a white paper when the work is complete. My goal is a recipe, if you will, of the methods that are appropriate for a given desired accuracy level.
We will be posting an experimental (EXP) release of LP360 (all license levels) within the next few weeks. Those of you on software maintenance will be able to download this release via the "Check for Updates" option under LP360 Help. There is a separate article in this newsletter that provides a highlight of the new features.