Status and trends of UAV aerial mapping analysis

Kirk KK

First- Overview of UAV surveying and mapping

Companies around the world not only integrate drones into their daily workflows, but they also rely on data acquisition capabilities provided by drones because they save a lot of time and money compared to traditional data acquisition methods. While industry-leading manufacturers such as DJI and senseFly are still the front-runners, 84% of UAV mapping is now available on drone models priced at $1,500 or less. Most mapping uses an affordable quadcopter drone model, thanks primarily to advances in drone hardware and battery life, which were previously only available on more expensive drone models.

However, compared with consumer drones, industrial-grade UAVs have advantages in terms of hardware and battery life. Chinese industrial drone manufacturer MMC is in a leading position in industrial drone development, whether in no Human-machine mapping applications still have corresponding solutions in the fields of public safety, fire protection, emergency rescue, inspection, etc., and their R&D and production of hydrogen fuel drones can last up to 4 hours, while vertical take-off and landing The drone's Griffion M8 has a lifetime of 81 minutes. Compared with the application of consumer-grade drone mapping and small scenes, industrial-grade drones are more suitable for large-scale land mapping, such as land resources, boundary mapping, water mapping, etc. Wait. At the same time, industrial-grade drones can be used in a variety of complex environments.

Now, drones can easily capture data, making it easy to model, manage, and share data across a variety of software platforms, making it a resource for GIS analysts, surveyors, and pilots. Clearly, drone mapping provides faster, more accurate decisions for key business stakeholders by providing fast aerial data.

Second-the status quo of UAV surveying and mapping

Compared with traditional terrain mapping and image aerial photography methods, UAV mapping can save more than three times the time and cost. Data collection, which may have taken days or weeks, can be completed in a matter of hours and quickly completed modeling analysis. Companies are integrating aviation data into their workflows to streamline operations and increase efficiency. Although the regulatory compliance, safety, and training of drones are still an obstacle to development, the commercial drone industry has reached a critical point, and the impact of drones cannot be ignored. Drones are more than just toys for lovers. They are powerful data collection devices that can change the way many companies operate, providing a return on investment for companies large and small.

The specialization of drone mapping brings great value to companies in all walks of life. In the coming year, large companies in the construction, agriculture, mining, and measurement sectors are expected to invest heavily in these services. From now until 2020, Goldman Sach predicts that corporate and private governments will spend $13 billion on drones, and market opportunities for drones will reach $100 billion, thanks to the growing business and civil government sectors. demand.

Third- the trend of UAV mapping technology

When do drones freely enter low-altitude airspace, making them an important part of our daily lives? The new UAV mapping application is booming in different industries, and the application of new technology makes our mapping and mapping work easier and more interesting.

1.Sensor technology

The price reduction of advanced sensor technology now allows them to be used with drone platforms, and some companies have provided a range of surveying sensors, including multispectral, hyperspectral and thermal imaging cameras and lidars. UAVs with thermal imaging technology can be used for rescue operations, which is the most common function of thermal imaging technology for UAV mapping. (In a fire mission, you can find a fire through a thick smoke to save human life!) Most of today's drone mapping uses are based on conventional RGB vision sensors.

1. Artificial intelligence technology

With the rise of artificial intelligence drone mapping, AI can be used to plan flight routes, and intelligent data processing and analysis capabilities will be greatly improved, and these are just the beginning of artificial intelligence applications! AI will continue to simplify UAV mapping and mapping, making drone mapping easier to use.

Machine learning is especially useful for image recognition, but machine learning has unlimited imagination in the field of UAV mapping and mapping. For example, it can be applied to drone digital photogrammetry for intelligent recognition and tracking of objects of interest; In the construction industry, it is possible to monitor whether the site personnel have taken safety measures.

1. Automatic control technology

At present, drones are usually manually controlled by the operator on-site, or they must use software to plan flights to complete single or multiple flight surveys. This mode of operation has a large workload and is difficult to operate in large-scale surveying. The drone formation of the drones basically adopts differential assisted positioning technology, but in free space, there is no such condition. The principle of differential assisted positioning technology is to achieve fast centimeter-level precision positioning by comparing GPS or Beidou satellite signals with known real base station coordinates. The development of automatic control technology for drones will soon solve this problem. Imagine that instead of controlling a single drone, the operator controls dozens of hundreds of autonomous flying drones. The control system divides the mapping range for them and performs real-time flight path tracking. The drone equipment can dynamically according to other The location of the device automatically corrects the flight path.

1. Battery life

In addition to portability, another important factor for drones is battery life. The more you save in size and weight, the longer the drone can last on a single charge, and today's flight time is the biggest limit of drone technology, the size of the area you can draw in a single flight. There is a linear relationship between battery life and battery life.

In general, fixed-wing UAVs can measure up to several square kilometers in one flight, while small-volume rotary-wing UAVs can achieve a large number of new applications by extending battery life, improving the currently available UAV mapping service.

Fourth. UAV mapping opportunities and challenges

Consumer drones are becoming more mainstream, and commercial applications are growing in all walks of life. Although there are still obstacles in terms of security, privacy, and insurance, there is no sign of a slowdown in the global drone market. The drone market has grown rapidly in recent years, with annual sales of drones growing at record levels.

From the perspective of market demand, according to the research data of iResearch, the drone market can be divided into four categories: aerial photography market (consumption), agriculture and forestry plant protection market, security market and power inspection market, and the corresponding market scale by 2025. About 30 billion yuan, 20 billion yuan, 15 billion yuan, and 5 billion yuan, the total scale will reach 70 billion. Clearly, demand in the industry-level market is taking a larger share of the entire drone market. The aerial photography of drones in the air, the collection and finishing of geographic information, can greatly improve the efficiency and quality of grassroots surveying and mapping work.

UAV surveying and mapping has many advantages such as high precision, high speed, and low cost. UAV surveying and mapping data products have short production time, strong timeliness and high resolution. They have been widely used in land mapping, planning and design, as well as rescue and disaster relief. The current aerial photography technology of drones also has obvious shortcomings: first, the smoothness of flight is not good. This happens to be triggered by the "advantage" of "light body". Second, sensor technology should be improved. Due to technical limitations and requirements, ordinary UAVs are currently unable to carry high-precision sensors, so the information and images with high precision required for surveying and mapping of large scales cannot be met. Finally, it is too dependent on the communication system. Because the control program of the drone is highly dependent on the GPS and the communication system, on the one hand, it is affected by the topographical factors during the execution of the aerial survey task; on the other hand, there are also security concerns, and the hacker can interfere with the coding program. The normal flight of the drone.