Drone-Metrics Talk

… a place to discuss applications and methodologies for drone mapping.

I am a Miami Dade County Employee. I work  for the Public Works Department in the Right of Way division.

In 2014 I started the application process for the Certificate of Authorization to operate a UAS for Public Works. After a long process I finally received the COA.

A short time after the FAA revisited the current operations criteria and implemented the now 14 CFR Part 107. In August 2017, I received my Remote Pilot Certificate under these regulations.

These technologies and regulations have changed my Land Surveyor Profession.  As I experiment with this technology, I have been fortunate to be exposed to several flight platforms. I fly a fixed wing for work and vertical lifts for fun and experimentation.

I have also been using several processing software to see which offer my employer the most complete deliverables solution. In software, I have used: UASMasters, Datumate Enterprise and Drone 2 Maps.

On weekends my experiments have consisted in flying a quasi-control site, at several Elevations, Vertical and Oblique imaging, with and without Ground Control.

I have been using my  DJI Phantom 3 Professional (12 MP camera) and I am very happy with the relative accuracies encountered in the horizontal dimensions. However, I have not checked for conformal properties. I am looking for solutions to achieve an adequate vertical accuracy.

If the County  allowed me the resources such as time, equipment and a good survey crew; I would set a field with tightly surveyed features and markings at fixed distances and patterns. I would produce an ACAD drawing of the field. Then I would fly the site again in different permutations of Flight Heights, Image Orientation and Camera configurations to see which renders to solution with the least deviations from the Control .

I can’t wait to run similar tests with my new DJI Phantom 4 Advance. This is a 20 MP camera unit and my expectations are the relative accuracies would improve,  same accuracies at a higher flight elevation