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 Dayamit Martínez, Alexis Sarabia and Sandra García, GeoCuba IC, Cuba

What is a UAS?

In the past an aircraft was just called an ‘aircraft’, without the qualifiers ‘manned’ or ‘unmanned’ since the ‘manned’ version was the only option. Of course, the unmanned ones have been around nearly as long as the aircraft designed for travel or transportation, but they were previously flown by the military – the warlords called them ‘drones’ – or model airplane enthusiasts. With the emergence of unmanned aerial systems (UASs) came the need to distinguish ‘manned’ from ‘unmanned’, so today we have UASs versus MASs (Multiagent Systems). (By Mathias Lemmens, senior editor, GIM International) Are UASs here to stay or... (read more)
2015-05-05 08:30:00

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 Mikko Sippo, PIEneering, Finland

UAS Flight Planning Software

MAVinci Desktop is a professional software that handles all UAV-related tasks from flight planning to UAV control. MAVinci will be showing new features during Intergeo, to be held from 9 to 11 October 2012 in Hanover, Germany. These new features focus on work in mountain areas, adding that a flight plan can automatically adapt to an elevation model, automatic collision avoidance with mountains based on elevation data and automatic optimal alignment of flight lines. MAVinci Desktop also functions as an interface to several post processing software solutions. The software is developed to handle all jobs, from simple through to complex... (read more)
2012-10-01 09:57:34

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

UAS Campus Survey Project

Students Capturing Spatial Information Needs
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, home to the largest geomatics undergraduate programme in Texas, USA, is currently undergoing a major university expansion. Both the main Island campus and the Momentum campus, which is a smaller developing campus, are undergoing extensive construction projects. The university’s Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science (CBI) was tasked with devising a comprehensive way to capture the spatial information needs related to the expansion. This effort is ongoing and is being conducted by students, providing them with a unique survey experience.   The initial task was to perform a complete ground survey of all existing infrastructure... (read more)
2014-11-03 11:30:59 Thomas Davis and Dr Michael Starek, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, USA
2016-02-17 03:37:12

UAS and Flooding

Monitoring Flooding and Assessing Damage in the Czech Republic
Heavy rainfall in late May and early June 2013 caused the Elbe, Vltava and Kamenice rivers to burst their banks in the Czech Republic. Among other areas, the Troja area of Prague and the villages of Hrensko and Nové Kopisty were severely flooded. Here, the author describes the experiences gained by the Czech company Geodis while using UAS technology to monitor and assess the impact of floods for the first time. Having proved that it can provide geodata quickly, cheaply and efficiently, UAS is now attracting significant interest from authorities. Figure 1, MD4-1000 from microdrones. Geodis is the producer of... (read more)
2013-12-02 10:53:49 Jakub Karas, Geodis, Czech Republic

UAS in the Mountains

Monitoring Mountain Rockslides Using Multi-temporal Point Clouds
Alpine areas challenge the ingeniousness of humans in designing and performing airborne surveys. There is little space for navigation and poor reception of GNSS signals, while steep slopes cause large differences of scale in the imagery obtained. Winds may be strong and unpredictable and temperatures are often below zero, plus rapid fluctuations in altitude can complicate matters further. The authors show that UAS technology based on a multicopter enables a rockslide to be monitored at an altitude of 2,900m. Mountains are highly dynamic areas where landslides, rockfalls, debris flows and avalanches can be frequent occurrences. If such natural hazards threaten... (read more)
2013-07-09 04:52:28 Hansjörg Ragg and Christine Fey, Austria

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 Rodolphe Jobard, EDF Energy, UK
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