Canadian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) company Aeromao Inc., in collaboration with Foresight Surveyors, recently completed a full photogrammetric survey of an entire island in a single drone flight.
In December, Aeromao and Foresight Surveys took the Aeromapper Talon over an island in the Maldives, where the aircraft surveyed a total area of approximately 251 acres – or 1 square kilometer – at a ground sample distance of 2 centimeters per pixel.
The UAV flew at a cruise altitude of 100 meters above ground level and collected a total of 1,422 photos. A digital surface model, orthophoto and point cloud were generated using Pix4D’s Pix4DMapper. The Aeromapper Talon used in the survey was owned by Foresight Surveyors.
Despite the two-hour flight endurance capability of the Aeromapper Talon, the mission was successfully completed in only 45 minutes, says Aeromao. In addition, the UAV flew at a maximum distance of 2 kilometers from the ground control station.
Further, the drone was launched and recovered via parachute from a nearby island approximately 1 kilometer away. This was a result of the limited amount of space available for takeoff and landing on the target island.
The company notes that the Aeromapper Talon was not equipped with a post-processing kinematic global navigation satellite system, so five geographic coordinate system points were taken on the island – resulting in a horizontal accuracy of 4.8 centimeters.
According to the company, the purpose of the survey was to generate an orthophoto to map the island to prepare for future developments. Thanks to the drone-captured data, the client received an up-to-date, high-resolution property map, which will also be used for environmental monitoring purposes and biodiversity mapping.
And after the mission? Well, Aeromao says the crew had time to go snorkeling in the Indian Ocean while the computers processed all the data from the flight.