Drones have a wide variety of uses in the commercial sector, depending on their size and payload. The camera on the DJI Inspire 1 is capable of capturing HD imagery that can then be incorporated into surveying and mapping. I am a CAA approved drone (UAV) pilot, I am fully insured, and have the indemnity insurance to £1million (this can be increased if required).
The process of aerial mapping is called photogrammetry, and the images below are from a test survey at Gullane Beach in East Lothian, Scotland. In order to collect accurate imagery, the drone must fly a pre-determined grid, with the camera pointing vertically down and at a set height that allows for sufficient overlap of the images. Data is processed online using DroneDeploy (www.dronedeploy.com).
The resolution of the survey is determined by the height of survey grid, with a lower altitude creating a higher resolution and more accurate map. The absolute accuracy of this example is 1-3m, as positioning was calculated solely from the GPS of the UAV, however, if surveyed ground control points (e.g.using RTK (Real Time Kinematic GPS)) were introduced, the error could be reduce to 1-3cm if required.
This aerial survey took approximately 15 minutes to fly, and around 3 hours to process.
Clients that have used the services of Creative Sides Photography include:
UAV: DJI Inspire 1 v2.
Weight: 3060g (inc. camera and battery)
Max Speed: 49mph
Max height: 4500m asl (restricted to 120m in UK airspace)
Max range: 500m or within visual sight (CAA regulations)
Satellight positioning system: GPS/GLONAS
Camera: X3 1/2.3" CMOS sensor (12.4megapixels)
FOV (field of view) 94° (360° pan on gimbal)
Video capability: up to 4k.
Editing software: Photography - Adobe Photoshop CS6
Video - Adobe Final Cut PRO
Advantages of drone use
- Cost saving. Versatile and flexible operating platform capable of working in remote and inaccessible environments. Real time visual data feed to assist operations.
- Safety. Risk assessments and pre-operation site checks conducted prior to work commencing.
- Legal. CAA approved pilot, fully insured up to £1million (this can be increased if necessary).
- Quality. High definition data instantly accessible, if required. Edited HD video and stills are also available.
- Flexibility. UAV is easily transportable and can be deployed at very short notice.
- Weather dependent. Cannot be used in strong winds or precipitation, and at night.
- Protected airspace. Drone operations in certain areas of the UK are prohibited, unless special dispensation is sought from the CAA.
- Battery life limited to 18minutes. However, operations can be prolonged by using multiple batteries.