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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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Q200 Surveyor Drone Bungee launch by QuestUAV

KAZ Minerals commence UAS survey operations – a photo story


UAS Mining Survey Operations At Aktogay


 

KAZ Minerals operate a large operation at Aktogay in eastern Kazakhstan, with an open-pit mine and on-site concentrator - Aktogay Open-Pit Mine

 

KAZ Minerals Q200 Surveyor Pro

From this autumn KAZ Minerals surveyors have begun to use a Q-200 Surveyor Pro UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) in Kazakhstan. The UAS (also known as a "drone") greatly improves the efficiency of geodetic work, makes the results more accurate and increases the efficiency of developing the site.

KAZ Minerals Q200 Surveyor Pro

The essence of the UAS at first glance is simple: traversing the sky above the survey site along with a neatly planned flight-path, the UAS takes numerous sensor images along with accurate location data for each image. Previously, surveying of this sort would require a lot of effort and resources on the ground - today this is many times faster.What's Involved

Esengeldy Bijanov, Senior Surveyor for KAZ Minerals

Sengeldy Bijanov, Senior Surveyor for KAZ Minerals at the Aktogay mine site

"Surveying services have remained in their current form for decades. Technology developments are continuously being placed in the hands of ordinary surveyors, we are no exception. Originally working one way, we have moved on to electronic tachometers and then with another step into GPS technology. And today begins our work with drones. Very quickly the UAS can obtain very detailed images. Usually, if a company needs aerial imagery a plane is employed, but this is very expensive and cannot always be used for this reason."

 

"Surveying in Aktogay today is mainly a photographic career. The work of the surveyor forms the basis for all further work in developing the mineral resources. Spatial geometric measurements are taken of the earth's surface, which are then used to develop and display the plans, maps and profiles required for mining and exploration"


Kaz Minerals Q200 Launch Preparation

Interview


How often do you collect imagery?

“Daily. To create the planning framework in which each location is shown on the plan, with further work performed by our engineers, planners and geologists. We also perform daily inspection surveys of the ore collected from the mining operations. To this end we have a team of experts trained, 8 at this stage - all fully trained to be able to fly and manage the UAS.”

Who performed the initial training?

“Fully qualified trainers from the UK, direct from the manufacturer of the Q-200 system. The first teams have been trained and now, if necessary we can receive further technical support remotely from the UK.”

Q200 Surveyor Pro Training

Who spearheaded the initiative to buy a UAS for this service?

"The idea came from our chief surveyor, Gavin Cheshire. He is constantly looking for ways to introduce new technologies and new solutions, which can be used at different sites in a range of countries. A number of drone systems were evaluated and compared, before settling on the Q-200 Surveyor"

Drones are a fairly young technology, but they are already available widely - from military use to toy units for teenagers. The UAS you use was created specifically for industrial operations?

“Yes, this is a special Q-200 Surveyor UAS from QuestUAV. The company was founded in 2008 by the CEO, Nigel King - himself a former military pilot and Air Force instructor. They have developed different models, introducing models for civilian purposes - for example, agriculture and large area surveying.”

Q-200 Surveyor UAS from QuestUAV

Dear ?

Reasonably expensive as a package with all sensors and sets of spare batteries


Training and Operations


 

Q200 Surveyor Pro Launch Preparation Training

Operation is probably different to a standard copter?

“Yes, training is not simple, it is very detailed and takes days. The UAS is not just a gadget with a remote - there is a laptop-based station with special control programmes installed on it. Flight trajectory and all flight data is displayed and so on. Another important moment is launch - everything needs to be timed, observed and adjusted for - wind speed, direction, hand position, etc.”

How have your colleagues found the training?

“The theory is supported by the practice. Already there is noticeable progress.”

And you learned how to operate it? I would think that at first, all hands would shake at the thought that you could cause these expensive devices to fall?

“Yes (laughs), but in that case repairs and spare parts can be ordered again, for delivery directly from the manufacturer in England.”

Briefly, tell us about the characteristics of the drone.

“Speed - about 1 km per minute. Maximum range - 55-60 km. One flight can last up to an hour. This is important for large areas and for areas that are difficult to organise flights around. For example, a panel of heap leaching (leach pit) - when they initially have their ore load laid you could get inside to start surveying, but today everything is acidic and direct ground access is severely limited.”

Q200 Surveyor Pro Successful Launch

What will be the next technological leap, I wonder? What do you see next?

“I don't know, it will most certainly be possible to do everything without leaving the office. Prepare and pre-program everything, the aircraft itself will still fly and collect the data, process the results and here you are.”

Esengeldy Bijanov was interviewed by Almas Sadykov

original article (Russian)


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Twin Sensor Gimbal

Know Your Gimbals


Know Your Gimbals


 

A gimbal is, simply put, a cradle that allows the object contained within it to rotate about a particular axis (backwards and forwards, or left and right, or side to side - known in technical terms as pitch, roll and yaw). Used for a sensor within an aircraft, a gimbal for any particular axis allows the sensor to continue to point directly at the ground, while the aircraft itself is manoeuvring around that same axis.

Gimbal
Twin Gimbal

Without the gimbal, the sensor remains pointing out from the aircraft in whichever direction it was installed. Images taken as the aircraft moves about an axis will then be oblique instead of having all parts mostly parallel to the ground. This lowers the apparent resolution in the areas further away from the sensor in each image, as each pixel is covering a larger ground space at an offset angle, giving less for the processing software to work with for any given image overlap.

With the smooth, fluid movement of a gimbal, any small motions of the aircraft (including types of vibration) are countered - stopping most blurring issues. Extra gel is placed in QuestUAV gimbals, interspaced with the sensor mount, to reduce other non-axis vibrations to a minimum.

Gimbal

QuestUAV are one of the only fixed-wing UAV manufacturers to include gimballed sensors across the full range of aircraft. The value of having gimbals for your sensors and what they bring to your image collection missions is hopefully a little clearer now. Understanding the difference makes it difficult to consider aircraft without them (even if that means asking specifically for them to be added as an optional extra).


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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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Mapping Image

Technical Services For Imagery Analysis Available


Technical Services For Imagery Analysis


GIS, Image Processing and other services

The best and most sophisticated UAV equipment is of no use when, at the end of the flight, nobody can competently read the information behind an image. Image analysis can become quite a complex task, especially when multi-temporal and multi-spectral information is involved.

QuestUAV has many years’ experience with the interpretation of aerial images for various applications. We continuously expand this knowledge through close cooperation with our customers from different industries and via in-house research projects.


 

GIS

Technical Services

QuestUAV offers a wide variety of training courses, from beginners through to professionals, to learn GIS software and to improve GIS skills and understanding in aerial image interpretation. We train our clients in the open-source software - QGIS. Advanced courses are also given in GRASS GIS, SAGA GIS and GDAL.

GIS Service


 

Image Processing

Mapping Image

Our processing experts provide training in industry-standard photogrammetry software - Pix4Dmapper and Agisoft PhotoScan. Learn how to use the software packages to create beautiful orthomosaics and 3D models. Get to know the workflows for generating virtual flythroughs and translating multispectral UAV data into valuable index maps, such as NDVI or SAVI.

Image Process 

 

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