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Next-Generation Aerial Mapping Solutions

By [email protected] - 25th August 2015 - 09:12

Take, for example, the Topcon Sirius Pro, one of the most advanced aerial mapping systems on the market. A fixed-wing UAS, the Sirius Pro is optimised for precise mapping and volume analysis. Targeted toward large-scale mapping applications, it lends itself to a broad range of applications including construction, quarrying, topographic surveying, earthworks, forestry and agriculture. â©

The Sirius Pro is a complete aerial mapping solution, streamlined to cover each stage of the mapping process: flight planning, image acquisition & data collection, orthophoto & DEM generation. Easy to transport, its lightweight design and folding propeller make for quick set-up and usability. The UAS also boasts an impressive specification: a flight time of up to 50 minutes; an average speed of 65km/h and a weight of just 2.7kg. Fitted with a Panasonic GX1 camera and 14mm f/2.5 lens, the Sirius Pro pushes the boundaries of UAS flight.â©

Precision … without GCPs?â©

Adverse weather has traditionally served as a stumbling block to the successful implementation of UAS for mapping applications. However the Sirius Pro is able to operate in difficult conditions. Its traditional aeroplane shape, coupled with full movement from rudders, ailerons & elevators, and a powerful 1hp brushless electric motor, means it can cope with high winds, maintaining stable flight in gusts of up to 50km/h. The Sirius Pro can also operate in rain, low light and temperatures ranging from -20 to 45 degrees Celsius. â©

Turning UAS data into information that can improve operations and efficiency has been a continuing challenge for the industry. Sirius’ MAVinci Desktop seamlessly links to most third party photogrammetry packages for post-processing. The Agisoft Photoscan Professional is the preferred option here, with the software optimised to work with the Sirius Pro’s RTK positioning. MAVinci Desktop also makes flight planning easy, thanks to its automatic flight plan calculation function. Simply find your site, choose your interest area, set your ground sampling distance, and the Sirius does everything else for you. Its inbuilt elevation models easily compensate for differences in terrain and can automatically split the flight plan when covering large areas. â©

Getting the complete pictureâ©

It also offers greater flexibility in surveying activities, opening-up avenues for larger area surveys or more awkward sites that have previously been inaccessible such as wind farms or ground with terrain height changes. This robust and complete aerial solution should be strongly considered by industry professionals. â©

To hear more about the use of UAS, visit SkyTech 2016 (27th & 28th January 2016), a UAS event featuring a conference dedicated to the use of the technology within the surveying and mapping industries (â©

Megan Roden is Production Manager at Charles Maxwell Ltd, organisers of the SkyTech 2016 event, who can be contacted at [email protected]

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