Caltrans Presents: Specifications for Using Small Unmanned Aerial Systems to Generate High Accuracy Mapping

Published On: May 31, 2018


Please join us for a presentation of the California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) ongoing 3-year sUAS research project titled "Specifications for Using Small Unmanned Aerial Systems to Generate High Accuracy Mapping." The Principal Investigator for this research project is Prof. Riadh Munjy, PhD, PE of California State University, Fresno, Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics. Goals, expected outcomes, tasks, and progress to date will be presented by John Erickson, CP, PLS, from the Caltrans Office of Photogrammetry and Preliminary Investigations in Sacramento.

We Will Cover:

  • Problem: There are many commercially available sUAS for "high accuracy" mapping. The problem is specifications developed for one configuration of a sUAS won't hold true for a different configuration.
  • Goals:
    • Provide specifications for sUAS hardware and ground control requirements for high accuracy mapping.
      • Camera Calibration parameters
      • LIDAR system parameters
      • Spatial distribution of the ground control points
      • Flight planning and strip configuration
      • Positional accuracy of the airborne GPS
      • Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) accuracy requirements
    • Expected Benefits
      • A proven set of specifications for sUAS hardware and ground control requirements.
      • Although Caltrans is the immediate beneficiary of the proposed research, the resulting standards will be equally well suited for adoption by any organization engaged in the production of photogrammetric maps, and LIDAR derived geospatial products, both in the private and the public sector.
      • The specifications will be the basis for a new chapter in the Caltrans Surveys Manual on the use of sUAS in the surveying workflow.
    • Research Project Tasks
      • Project Management
      • Literature Search
      • Data Simulation
      • Test Flights
      • Data Processing
    • Task 1: Project Management
    • Task 2: Literature Search
      • UAV Classifications
        • Fixed Wing
        • Rotary
        • Hybrid
      • Camera Systems
      • Image Blur
      • Acquisition Mode
      • Flight Patterns
      • Ground Control Points
      • Camera Positioning
      • Processing Software
      • Self-Calibration
      • Accuracy Achieved
    • Task 3: Data Simulation
      • Use simulated data to determine preliminary specifications for sUAS test flights.
      • Most likely this task will be an iterative process with Task 4 Test Flights and Task 5 Data Processing.
    • Task 4: Test Flights
      • Plan, prepare, conduct and report on the sUAS test flights and associated work.
    • Task 5: Data Processing
      • Review and analysis of data obtained from test flights conducted, draw conclusions, and make recommendations. This is the second proof of concept task.