sUAS Cameras Matter

The airborne surveying business has clearly noticed the benefit of small unmanned aerial systems, such as foam airplanes or helicopters. These small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) can deftly traverse inaccessible worksites at various altitudes. Yet, the sUAS are also susceptible to crashes, and may risk destroying expensive 3D imaging equipment. Outfitting sUAS with consumer digital cameras is one possible solution to this costly risk.

Although 3D imaging is available, advanced photogrammetry software can create 3D scans from 2D photos of digital cameras. Lewis Graham, president of GeoCue Corporation, presents an in-depth look at using consumer digital cameras on sUAS through a case study of volumetric surveys of a quarry. Months of test flights, data analysis and reconfiguration have shown the strengths and disadvantages to using sUAS. If certain technical requirements are met, sUAS and digital cameras can produce quality 3D survey data at low deployment costs.

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