2016-02-17 03:37:12

UAS Technology in Focus

A UAS intended for mapping, inspection or reconnaissance consists of a mix of elements including aircraft, a ground control station (GCS), on-board navigation sensors, a radio link for manual control of the aircraft, one or more geodata collection sensors and a wireless link for transmitting the data recorded by the geodata collection and navigation sensors to the GCS and PC, laptop or tablet (Figure 1). Usually the aircraft – whether a fixed wing or rotary wing – will be propelled by a battery-powered electric engine. However, the depletion of the battery charge is usually counted in minutes rather than hours.... (read more)
2017-07-26 03:08:13

UAS Applications Are Ubiquitous

Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) include imaging systems and/or airborne Lidar systems on an ever-increasing number of variously sized, remotely piloted fixed-wing or multi-propeller systems – the latter being able to hover and take-off vertically – as well as hybrid systems. In 'GIM International' and other surveying and mapping literature, there have been many articles describing the use of UASs, new developments and precautions that need to be taken to achieve satisfactory results. This article explores how UAS applications have become ubiquitous. (By John Trinder and Yincai Zhou, The University of New South Wales, Australia) In many countries, small UAS operations... (read more)
2017-04-03 11:55:12

UAS in Farming

A Pilot Project in Cuba
The popularity of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is on the rise in many countries for a multitude of applications. In one such development, the UAS is rapidly becoming a tool for crop monitoring and management, which is essential for food security. GeoCuba has been successfully testing UAS technology for farming purposes. Here, the authors describe a pilot project conducted in Cuba in co-operation with the Russian firm Uniintex-Ginus. Figure 1, Preparing the Delta-Photo system for flight   Cuba covers a land area of nearly 110,000 square kilometres, of which nearly two-thirds is cultivated. With an annual sugar production of 5... (read more)
2014-04-23 08:59:07

UAS in the Andes

Determining Volume Changes of the Chuquicamata Open Pit Mine
In mining, the determination of volume changes over time is an important surveying task. However, harsh environments can make gathering precise and up-to-date geodata challenging. Traditional land surveying and terrestrial laser scanning are faced with many hurdles when used in remote open pit mines. UAS provides an alternative without compromising accuracy. Here, the authors present UAS surveys carried out high in the Andes. The gathering of information in open-pit mines is associated with many risks. If security protocols are not strictly followed, heavy equipment may injure surveyors operating on site. In addition, digging ore produces dust, noise and other unfavourable... (read more)
2014-12-12 03:35:17

Fixed-wing UAS

Monitoring a Nuclear Power Plant Construction Site
Monitoring a nuclear power plant construction site requires regular collection of site data; even up to weekly coverage may be necessary. Conventional photogrammetry and land surveying are often too costly. The author shows that UAS technology based on a fixed-wing aeroplane enables weekly coverage of a 150-hectare construction site. The orthomosaics, digital elevation models, maps and 3D models generated from the imagery support site monitoring beyond expectations, while new applications are being found all the time. Hinkley Point in Somerset, UK, is one of eight nuclear power stations owned and operated by EDF, a wholly owned subsidiary of France-based EDF... (read more)
2013-05-27 12:07:30

Monitoring Vulcanoes with UAS

Testing the Suitability of Thermal Infrared Sensors
Insight into signs that prelude volcanic eruptions is key for protecting the lives, livestock and property of those living in the vicinity of a volcano. One key indicator is temperature rise. Using Mount Etna as a test site, the authors show that a UAS equipped with a thermal infrared sensor generates data similar to temperature data acquired by ground-based stations while avoiding safety risks for volcanologists.   Data from Earth observation satellites with high temporal resolution can be used to monitor volcanic eruptions on an intraday basis when combined with images from satellites with a high GSD but low repetition... (read more)
2014-06-06 03:41:59

UAS for Mapping

A Product Survey on Systems and Features
In recent years, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have attracted tremendous attention from surveyors and other geodata collectors all around the world. Nowadays, UAS equipped with GNSS, IMU and RGB, NIR or TIR cameras and possibly Lidar have evolved into high-potential surveying devices which have now definitely passed the stage of ‘toys for boys’. This article focuses on UAS for mapping and 3D modelling and provides a detailed survey in tabular format on the features of the prevailing systems, both fixed wings and multicopters, available on the market today An unmanned aerial system (UAS) is an aircraft which flies without a... (read more)
2017-07-26 03:17:00

UAS Potential in Archaeology

Archaeology entails the recording of the physical remains left by past generations. Traditionally, archaeological exploration has been by excavation. Other survey techniques have recently gained importance in recording remains that are visible above the ground. Examples include prehistoric fields, settlements and burial remains in upland areas, or industrial landscapes, buildings and standing monuments such as stone circles in other areas. It is more than worthwhile to explore the application of unmanned airborne systems (UASs) in archaeology. In the past most recording was done with tape and a 1m planning frame, while a theodolite was a luxury. More recently total stations, GNSS receivers, terrestrial... (read more)
2016-01-12 11:08:11

Experiences in UAS Photogrammetry

Quality Matters
UAS mapping is widely accepted as a new method for acquiring spatial image data. The main business opportunities clearly lie in projects which are too small to be of interest for aircraft and helicopter platforms and too big for field mapping. Nevertheless, performing UAS operations profitably and with high-quality results is quite demanding. At the end of the day, the paying end customer is not really interested in whether the data was produced using UAS or more traditional methods; data quality is all that matters. This article focuses on UAS mapping productivity topics, shedding light on the practical challenges of... (read more)
2013-01-29 06:21:50
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