UAS Experiences in Africa

Heat, Dust and Distrustful Locals
When conducting surveys in countries near the equator, environmental conditions can be harsh. Heat, dust and humidity may disrupt sensitive equipment, while distrustful locals may obstruct the undertaking. Read on to learn about the experiences during a UAS survey on the savannah of Benin, West Africa. Germany-based Spectair Group offers multiple aerial services including video recordings from unusual perspectives, support services to police, firefighters and rescue teams, inspection of industrial plants, solar roofs and buildings, and mapping and surveying services. In July 2014, the company was commissioned to conduct a UAS survey to produce orthoimages and 3D landscape models of a... (read more)
2017-10-30 03:50:27

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 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

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

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 Industry Leaders Participate in UAS Mapping 2014 Reno

The first UAS technical symposium sponsored by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) has announced that industry leaders in the UAS commercial industry are on board for UAS Mapping 2014 Reno. The event is being held from 21-22 October in Reno, NV, USA. The technical programme has been designed to provide practical information on sensor types and platforms as well as soup-to-nuts details on planning a mission, controlling the mission, flying the mission, and processing the data. ASPRS is “The Imaging and Geospatial Information Society” and its members will be evaluating issues such as accuracy and data... (read more)
2014-09-26 10:15:30

UAS for Photogrammetric Aerial Mapping

Trimble (USA) has introduced its Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS): the Trimble UX5 aerial imaging rover with the Trimble Access aerial imaging application. The solution builds upon its predecessor, the Trimble Gatewing X100. Combined with the Trimble Business Center photogrammetry office software module, the Trimble UX5 has been developed to offer a complete UAS photogrammetric mapping solution for surveyors and geospatial professionals, aimed specifically at large projects. A variety of traditional surveying applications such as topographic surveying, site & route planning, progress monitoring, volume calculations, disaster analysis and as-builts in industries such as surveying, oil & gas, mining, environmental services, and... (read more)
2013-06-18 10:03:37

Swarm Technology for UAS Mapping

The vision of multiple drones mapping remote areas autonomously is realized by the Swiss senseFly’s ground control software. This technology was then adapted by senseFly’s R&D team and first sucessfully demonstrated in June 2013 at the Paris Air Show when two eBees mapped Le Bourget (watch the video in the article). It is now fully integrated in senseFly’s ground control software eMotion 2. Operators can use a single interface to control multiple drones which allows greater areas to be covered in less time. The technology behind senseFly’s multiple drone operation system first emerged in 2010 at the Laboratory of Intelligent... (read more)
2013-10-08 04:40:46
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