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Grande Cote Operations

Grande Cote Operations

Papa Mamadou Diouf (Grande Cote Operations) recently visited QuestUAV to complete his training for the Q-200 UAV system.

If you want to learn more about what our UAV is being used for click on the link below.

http://www.tizir.co.uk/projects-operations/grande-cote-mineral-sands/

Papa Mamadou Diouf (Grande Cote Operations)
Papa Mamadou Diouf completing flight training

“I have had an excellent time with the QuestUAV Team.  This was a great opportunity for me to visit Northumberland, the English hospitality and the professionalism of QuestUAV was amazing.  It has been wonderful, excellent, I have really enjoyed my experience here” – Papa Mamadou Diouf – Grande Cote Operations

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Gas Sensor Takes Flight on UAV

Remote sensing of atmospheric gas concentrations is important in monitoring global greenhouse gas levels and industry monitoring. Monitoring is usually carried out via satellite sensing or laborious ground-based measurements.

With aerial measurement, a wider area can be measured efficiently, and repeat measurements taken of days, weeks and months gathering time-series data.

BGS Gas Sensor Q200

This spring, a study by QuestUAV and the British Geological Survey (BGS) used a custom QuestUAV Q200 airframe equipped with two sensors, one tuned for methane (CH4) and one for CO2. The sensors use an open-path gas mass spectrometer — a fiber-guided laser beam passed laterally across open atmosphere on top of the drone to a reflector and then back to the sensor itself.

Signals from the sensors were fed into a multi-core processing unit on board the drone. All readings were stamped with time and location provided by the standard GPS and flight units in the Q200.

The completed drone was commissioned in March. Over several months, trial flights were run over gas releases initiated manually on the ground over the test site. The recorded sensor data was processed immediately on return to base, and the data passed to BGS for analysis and appraisal.

The team plans to fine-tune the operational workflow and maintenance tasks for regular missions.

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Topcon

Topcon Survey Yanqing District with Fixed Wing Drone – Flythrough


Topcon Survey Yanqing District with Fixed Wing Drone


A QuestUAV's Chinese reseller recently surveyed the Yanqing District, located North West of Beijing, China as part of a UAV demonstration. They were able to create a flythrough to show results.  The team used QuestUAV's Q-100 DATAhawk drone to survey the area and processed their images using the Pix4DMapper software.

About Roctech

Beijing Topcon Business & Trade (BTBT) are a Positioning Business, which uses high-precision GNSS positing technology to achieve the automation of civil engineering construction and farming. Topcon supply a range of survey technologies globally including QuestUAV's Q-100 DATAhawk drone.

Topcon Logo

BTBT with QuestUAV's Stuart King and Q-100 DATAhawk 


Watch the flythrough:


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DATAhawk Pink

QuestUAV DroneGirls React To Sexist Complaint


QuestUAV DroneGirls React to "Sexist" Comments


 

 

Jo Harris, DroneGirl

Jo Harris, QuestUAV DroneGirl

 

Jo Harris, female marketing consultant at QuestUAV wrote an article entitled “Drone Boys vs Drone Girls” on 21 Feb 2017.

SuasNews received a complaint following the publishing of the article complaining that the article was “flagrantly sexist, male-centric and benighted”.

The complainant went on the say “You owe your readers, both female and male, an apology for posting such a degrading article.”

The following is a statement from QuestUAV director Nigel King, defending the author of the original article “Drone Boys vs Drone Girls”.

 

 

Meet The Team | Kerstin

Kerstin... "It was an ironic piece phrased in an unassuming way to show women's presence in the drone world."

Kerstin QuestUAV DroneGirl

DroneGirls Kerstin and Carla on PPK trials

DroneGirl Jess

DroneGirl Jess and Her Dad

 


Comment By Nigel King.  QuestUAV Director 

 

“Jo Harris, my marketing publicist, is a DroneGirl through and through, having been in the industry for five years now.

She was itching to write a piece on one of her favourite subjects; That woman have as much a right to a role in the drone world as anyone. (And by process of deduction that simply means as much as any man!).  

I gave her my blessing. And then hid under the desk….

Now we have a saying here in the North of England. Jo Harris “isn’t backward in coming forward”. It means she is pretty outspoken. Most DroneGirls are.

In fact let me tell you a little about my female staff in general…… the “DroneGirls” of QuestUAV.

Kerstin Traut, international drone operative, the smallest of my DroneGirls, can throw me to the ground quicker than anyone I know. Donna can organise accounts better than a Ninja warrior can dispatch enemy heads. Heather is fearless, loves her bright red lipstick and tells me I don’t work hard enough. Actually so does Jess, my grandaughter (part time worker).   Jo Harris looks after a family of five and still manages at least four days a week at work. Carla Taylor took one look at the picture of the guy that wrote the complaint and went “he’s cute’ and promptly sent a Linkedin invitation to him. Between them they do a hundred different jobs including, yes, drone stuff.

Don’t you love it that kind of variety and uniqueness? I do! Life wouldn’t be the same around here.

So, who was to know that Jo and her DroneGirl colleagues, in all their feminine uniqueness, would be then hailed as (I quote)

“Flagrantly sexist, male-centric and benighted”, degrading their own feminine uniqueness in a  “demeaning”, “sexual” and “callow” way.

For real? Having read the complaint, the members of the pink flight-line naturally looked at each other with that “very confused” look. And then took great interest in the writer of the complaint… Believe me, it’s a dangerous situation for a bloke to be in the middle of.

Their accuser is, it seems, a MALE drone business owner, unable to identify Jo’s sense of humour OR identity as a the DroneGirl who penned the article (Two pictures of her were in the article).

When I asked Jo for a statement on the validity of the complaint Jo said in typical Jo Harris simplicity….

“Idiot”.

 

 

QuestUAV Drone Girls

DroneGirls Heather, Carla and Jo

DATAhawk Pink

Our Pink DATAhawk, icon of the QuestUAV DroneGirls

 

The complainant has since requested to withhold his complaint from being published but has demanded an apology from SUAS news on behalf of the rest of the world.

Well, truly, to anyone who has been offended (only one that we can make out so far) we offer our genuine apologies. There is no offence made at all. We hope that any reader can read between the lines of humour to the real message that each DroneGirl is a professional and rightly treated (and paid) as such.

My message to Mr Fox is;   “Do you really want to take these DroneGirls own self expression and competence out of their own hands and protect them with some faux grandeur that you want to call anti-feminisim? If so I suggest you go and find a woman who doesn’t want to have a door opened for her and then don’t open the door for her. Just don’t try it on here. It’s not welcome.”

Kerstin, DroneGirl, also had something piercing to say.

“I’ve travelled the world, operating complex UAVs all over the world and done missions that Luke probably cant even dream about. I’m not an arrogant person. I know about my knowledge and my skills and therefore this article isn’t sexist at all. I feel like I am a professional UAV operator and this article was just an interesting way to show our take on DroneGirls in the industry. It was an ironic piece phrased in an unassuming way to show our presence in the drone world.”

 

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Grande Cote

Grande Cote Complete Manufacturers Training


Grande Cote Complete Manufacturers Training


Grande Cote
Grande Cote

Papa Mamadou came from Senegal on a mission to learn how to operate the QuestUAV Surveyor Pro on his Grand Cote mines. A great character, full of smiles and fun, he braved the roughest of English weather and Storm Doris to complete his training with us.  

Some quotes from him both in English and his native French tongue.  

“Wonderful good great I enjoyed my time"

"Javoue vraiment davoir passer d’excellent monments avec l’equipe QUESTUAV. Cetait une occasion pour moi de decouvrir northumberland et decouvrir aussi lhospitalite anglaise. Du professionalisme et de lexcellence chez Quest UAV et lhistoire ne fait que commencer sachant que nous avons un grand chemin a parcourrir ensemble.”-Papa

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DATAhawk Wings

QuestUAV Releases New High Performance (HP) Wings for DATAhawk


QuestUAV Releases New High Performance (HP) Wings for DATAhawk


DATAhawk Wings
DATAhawk HP Wings

With an increase in surface area of around 22%, out new HP wings are having a significant boost for users where high altitude and/or turbulence are key factors to overcome. The image shows the new (HP) wings in black and the standard wings in grey.

The wings are a straightforward retro-fit with no changes required to the standard DATAhawk.

The wings increase the ceiling of the DATAhawk to 10000ft and beyond and have the effect of reducing the stall speed; a benefit in turbulent conditions. The wings also improve launch capability in light winds.

For more details including pricing contact sales@questUAV.com.

 

 


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ppk_drone_0008-2

QuestUAV Provide Own PPK Solution For Q-200

QuestUAV Provides Own PPK Solution For Q-200 Surveyor UAV


 

QuestUAV Own PPK

PPK (Post-Processing Kinematic) provides much higher accuracy in GPS location when stored against images taken in a UAV. Standard GPS signals are accurate to 10's of metres - PPK increases that accuracy to cm-levels. On board the Q-200 UAV, PPK eliminates the need for physical Ground Control Points (GCP) that are often used to gain high accuracy in surveys. This saves hours of mission planning and setup time, physically measuring location points and walking the survey site for placement.


 

GCPs – The underestimated part of a UAV survey

Surveys involving GCP generally run like this:

  • Initial site is viewed to establish useful locations for Ground Control targets.
  • Each location is visited with a GCP and a Differential GPS receiver to accurately place the target.
  • Targets may need revisiting before survey takes place.
  • Locations are stored for post processing reference.

In most cases - up to half of the mission time is taken up with GCP placement. GCP targets may shift or collapse with changing weather conditions – requiring the original placement to be repeated (often wasting up to an hour of survey setup time); coastal surveys can suffer from tidal changes and cliffs make it difficult to place GCPs across the survey area; general survey ground conditions can make it difficult to secure GCPs - quarries are a good example of difficult, variable ground surfaces.


 

The advantage of PPK - Overcoming GCPs

The PPK solution offered by QuestUAV uses a higher performance, highly-accurate receiver placed within the aircraft - following more than 10 GPS satellites at any given time and storing location information against the triggered images taken. Combined with differential signal information collected by the fixed position Ground Station (which stores signal drift and signal error values), the image locations are recalculated to a much higher accuracy – down to centimetre level in x, y and z direction.

QuestUAV Own PPK

Compared to RTK (Real Time Kinematic), PPK also eliminates the need for a real-time data link with a fixed reference station during the flight, whilst guaranteeing RTK cm-level position accuracy of the images once post-processing has taken place, after the UAV lands. This simplifies the UAV set-up, reduces the requirements and power drain on-board and eliminates any loss of accuracy in data due to potentially unreliable radio links - which often plague RTK UAV operations.

The Q-200 Surveyor Pro is available with PPK at purchase or as an upgrade to an existing aircraft with the provision of just the PPK QPod.

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Fixed Wing vs Rotary Image 1

Fixed Wing Versus Rotary Wing For UAV Mapping Applications

Fixed Wing Versus Rotary Wing For UAV Mapping Applications

Fixed Wing vs Rotary
UAVs (also known as drones) come in many shapes and sizes. Each of these have their own unique pros and cons. It is these characteristics which ultimately leads to the operator's decision in which platform will best fit the application. It is understanding these key attributes and acting on them will ensure that your mapping mission is a success.

Fixed Wing Or Rotary Wing UAV?
UAV aircraft currently boil down to two categories, fixed wing and rotary wing. As you may have guessed each of these categories can be further broken down, for example a fixed wing UAV can be high wing, mid wing, low wing and flying wing, again each having their own unique characteristic advantages and disadvantages. For the purposes of this article we will be focusing on the “top level” differences between the two.

Fixed Wing UAV
Fixed Wing vs RotaryFixed wing UAVs, such as the Q200 and DATAhawk, consists of a rigid wing that has a predetermined airfoil (again another variable) which make flight capable by generating lift caused by the UAV’s forward airspeed. This airspeed is generated by forward thrust usually by the means of a propeller being turned by an internal combustion engine or electric motor.

Control of the UAV comes from control surfaces built into the wing itself, these traditionally consist of ailerons an elevator and a rudder. They allow the UAV to freely rotate around three axes that are perpendicular to each other and intersect at the UAV’s center of gravity. The elevator controlling the Pitch (Lateral axis), ailerons controlling the Roll (Longitudinal axis) and the rudder controlling the Yaw (Vertical axis).

Fixed Wing vs RotaryThe main advantage of a fixed wing UAV is that it consists of a much simpler structure in comparison to a rotary wing. The simpler structure provides a less complicated maintenance and repair process thus allowing the user more operational time at a lower cost. More importantly the simple structure ensures more efficient aerodynamics that provide the advantage of longer flight durations at higher speeds thus enabling larger survey areas per given flight.

Another advantage of fixed wing UAVs is that the flght characteristics due to their natural gliding capabilities with no power.

Also worth considering is the fact that fixed-wing aircraft are also able to carry greater payloads for longer distances on less power allowing you to carry some of the bigger (more expensive) sensors as well as twin sensor configurations.

The only disadvantages to a fixed wing solution is the need for a runway or launcher for takeoff and landing however VTOL (vertical take off/landing) and STOL (short take off/landing) solutions are very popular to help eradicate this issue. Also fixed wing aircraft require air moving over their wings to generate lift, they must stay in a constant forward motion, which means they can’t stay stationary the same way a rotary wing UAV can. This means fixed wing solutions are not best suited for stationary applications like inspection work.

Rotary Wing UAV
Fixed Wing vs RotaryRotary wing UAVs consist of 2 or 3 rotor blades that revolve around a fixed mast, this is known as a rotor. Rotary wing UAVs also come in wide range of setups consisting of a minimum of one rotor (helicopter), 3 rotors (tricopter), 4 rotors (quadcopter), 6 rotor (hexacopter), 8 rotors (octocopter) as well as more unusual setups like 12 and 16 rotors! Like fixed wing solutions, these setups can be further broken down, for example a Y6 setup consists of a tricopter with twin rotors on each arm, one pointing upwards and one pointing downwards and an X8 consists of a quadcopter with twin motors on each arm. Again each setup has their own unique characteristic advantages and disadvantages.

Rotor blades work exactly the same way as a fixed wing, however constant aircraft forward movement is not needed to produce airflow over the blades, instead the blades themselves are in constant movement which produce the required airflow over their airfoil to generate lift.

Fixed Wing vs RotaryControl of rotary UAVs comes from the variation in thrust and torque from it’s rotors. For example a quadcopter’s downward pitch is generated from the rear rotors producing more thrust than the rotors in the front, this enables the rear of the quadcopter to raise higher than the front thus producing a nose down attitude. Yaw movement uses the rotor’s torque force where diagonal rotors either spool more or less than their counter diagonal rotors thus producing an imbalance in the Yaw axis causing the quadcopter to rotate on the vertical axis.

Tricopters are the only exception to this where their rear rotor requires a servo to physically move the rotor to vector it’s thrust rather than using the rotor’s torque to enable vertical axis control.

The biggest advantage of rotary UAVs is the ability for takeoff and land vertically. This allows the user to operate with in a smaller vicinity with no substantial landing/take off area required. Their capacity to hover and perform agile manoeuvring makes rotary wing UAVs well suited to applications like inspections where precision manoeuvring and the ability to maintain a visual on a single target for extended periods of time is required.

On the flip side rotary wing aircraft involve greater mechanical and electronic complexity which translates generally to more complicated maintenance and repair processes thus meaning the user’s operational time can be decreased, which can occur increases in operational costs.

Finally, due to their lower speeds and shorter flight ranges the operator will require many additional flights to survey any significant areas, another increase in time and operational costs.


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