Mapping drone producer senseFly has unveiled a combined hardware/software solution that simplifies the mapping of linear assets with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
According to the company, corridor mapping is a common task for many geospatial professionals and is crucial for the effective planning, design and analysis of linear infrastructure, as well as the monitoring of rivers and coastlines. However, using drones to carry out corridor projects – as an alternative to manned aircraft – has, until now, been a relatively complex job that contained some frustrating inefficiencies, says senseFly.
“senseFly Corridor overcomes these hassles, providing a geometrically and logistically efficient method of mapping linear routes,” explains Francois Gervaix, senseFly’s lead product manager for surveying. “With senseFly Corridor, commercial operators can easily plan an automated corridor mapping mission, containing one or numerous flights.”
Gervaix notes that the solution is also “future-friendly” in that it takes into account drone operations taking place beyond the visual line of sight.
The senseFly Corridor is optimized for any eBee Plus drone that carries a senseFly S.O.D.A. photogrammetry camera. It includes a camera integration kit, which houses the senseFly S.O.D.A. in a longitudinal (portrait) position, and a new corridor mapping “mission block” within senseFly’s eMotion 3 ground station software.
According to senseFly, the combined approach offers three benefits:
1. Better ground resolution
A vertical camera position allows operators to fly the eBee Plus closer to the ground while still achieving the image overlaps their digital outputs require. The result of flying lower is a ground resolution of down to 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) per pixel.
2. Fewer images, shorter processing times
Compared with using a landscape-position drone camera, senseFly Corridor can map the same linear route using 30% fewer images. This means 30% shorter image processing times after a flight.
3. Easier corridor mapping
Through eMotion 3’s Corridor Mapping, simply load a KML, shape file or background map; define your target corridor (clicking once each time the route changes direction); and specify the corridor width and ground resolution you require.
“Our professional mapping clients are looking to be as safe and efficient as possible when planning and executing their eBee flights,” adds senseFly distribution partner Adam Arrington, vice president and sales manager at Earl Dudley Inc. “This new corridor feature provides a cutting-edge planning tool that will reduce processing times while maintaining a narrow corridor and still producing the highly accurate results our clients demand.”