Traditionally imagery in Tasmania has been captured by aircraft and sensors based on the mainland. Who would monitor the weather from Victoria, or South Australia and only fly across to attempt image capture when there were sure of good weather. This often meant long waits for data, and in lots of cases data not being captured at all. Well we are going to change that this summer by having a system permanently based in Tasmania over the summer flying period. We will have one of our portable mapping pods operational ready to capture data by early December, and it will remain in Tasmania until March, depending on weather. It will still be available during the off season but on an on demand basis. From our system we will be offering high resolution RGB, and Multispectral aerial imagery. Which has applications across numerous industries including forestry, natural resource monitoring, mining, precision agriculture and government. So if you are sick of waiting for the others to deliver and want fast, accurate and extremely affordable imagery contact us about your next project.
Here is a short video taken on on e of the test flights of our new portable mapping pod systems. More info to come soon so enjoy!
One application of our new portable aerial mapping systems is in the provision of project based imagery, asset mapping and updating of GIS. A great example of this type of project is a 3 square kilometer mapping project we flew over the Parramatta stadium precinct a few weeks ago. Flying out of Camden airport in a Cessna 172, we were able to capture the 3 sqkm of 6 cm GSD imagery in a flight lasting a little over an hour. A Cessna 172 with pilot can be hired for around $350 an hour in Sydney. So using one of our mapping pods and hiring a local Cessna this project could have been captured for around $380.00 AUD. So much for the much for that expensive aircraft myth!
From the high overlap 6 cm GSD imagery we were able to create an accurate high resolution Orthophoto, a dense point cloud and digital surfaces (DEM, DSM). Below is a screen grab of the point cloud of the stadium.
Our mapping pods can be hired on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis, and we provide full training on their use. Systems can be flown by a pilot only meaning that you don’t have to physically be in the aircraft when the data is captured. So why not think about one for your next project?
I have recently come across an aerial survey manual first published in 1941! The book covers the theory of aerial survey and also has a good look at industry standard equipment for the time. What really caught my eye was the Fairchild T-3A 5 camera oblique camera system. The T-3A was used by the military and was flying in the 1940’s. Some 70 years later our digital 5 camera oblique camera shares an almost similar design. Just goes to show everything old is new again!
With good weather here in Sydney over the weekend we took the opportunity to test fly our new Heron UAV. We have designed this air-frame from the ground up, for aerial survey. The air-frame pictured is only a proof of concept and still a little rough. It was designed to have a large payload bay, wide speed range, be stable and easy to fly. I am happy to say that from our test flights it ticks all of these boxes.
Recently I have been playing around with some early test data from our 5 camera oblique system. I generated some dense point clouds of the Mudgee CBD. While the side overlaps on this early test flight were a bit short I am really happy with the results. Note the information on the building facades, visible in the point cloud. You would not be able to capture this type of information with a single conventional camera flying high overlaps. We plan on some more test flights soon and will post the results.
Last week we ran another successful UAV mapping course in Sydney. With one student making the trip all the way from PNG to attend. We have now run over 5 courses all with very positive feedback. We are currently running one course per week out of Sydney, but can also come to you for custom training. Our course is designed to give UAV operators the knowledge and skills to plan and execute a survey project to produce high quality data.
Recently we have been conducting test flights using the sensors that will be contained in our portable mapping pods. To test the ability of our mapping pod to capture medium sized orthophoto projects, the town of Mudgee in NSW was flown at 6 cm GSD. The image below shows the extent of the orthophoto overlaid in Google Earth. It only took a smidgen over two hours to capture the entire town and area of 11 square kilometres. We used a Nikon D800E flying 70/50 overlaps and a Cessna 172. Try doing that with a UAV!
To hire a Cessna 172 with a pilot averages around $350 per flight hour. So if we simulate a commercial project and had hired a local aircraft from Mudgee then it would have cost us about $875.00 AUD to collect the data. This equates to around $0.80C per hectare to collect 6 cm GSD imagery over an 11 sqkm site.
Here is another example from our 5 camera oblique system, this time showing a typical residential property in Mudgee, NSW. Our oblique photography can offer a perspective just not possible from the ground and showcase any property.
As mentionedd in our last post we recently built and test flew a 5 camera oblique system over the town of Mudgee in western NSW. Our system is designed to capture an image of every object from directly above (Nadir) and from the N,S,E, and W. To do this we need 1 camera looking straight down or at Nadir, and 4 oblique cameras looking down at about 50 degrees on each of the cardinal headings. This is clearly shown in image of St Mary’s church to the left. This image contains the 5 images that we captured on our test flight. We can now produce a set of 5 images like the ones to the left for any building in Mudgee!