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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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Q200 Drone GGP

Congratulations Team GGP for Successfully Completing the QuestUAV Training


After Seven Days Intensive Flight Training The GGP Team Is Ready For Their First Survey Adventure


30,000 Hectares of Tropical Fruits Need To Be Mapped!

Q200 GGP in Flight

More Than 25 Takeoffs And Landings

After seven days of intensive training, the flight crew at GGP (Great Giant Pinapple) is ready to complete their own flight missions without supervision of the QuestUAV trainers. During the past week the team has practiced the whole mission workflow over and over again, including not only flight practice but also safety assessment, flight planning, site setup, UAV maintenance, camera preparation and data extraction.

The two Q-200 Agri-Pros have been launched and landed more than 25 times. The GGP crew has learned how to fly in different modes (auto and assisted) and how to land their QuestUAV drones with both methods, parachute and belly landing, on different surface types (matured pineapple, young pineapple, knocked down fields, roads).


 

Q200 Drone GGP

A Big Mission Ahead

The QuestUAV training was just the start of a larger survey mission and certainly a busy time for the new flight crews. 30,000 hectares of pineapple, banana and other tropical fruits are waiting to be mapped by the crew and analysed by GGP's agricultural and GIS experts.

UAV images, especially NDVI maps, will be used for the assessment of plant vigor and crop status, disease detection and identification of canopy gaps. Further, UAV-based elevation models will become the basis for developing a better drainage system for the entire plantation.


 

Thanks To All Helping Hands

The QuestUAV team, especially our trainers Nigel and Stuart, would like to thank GGP for their outstanding hospitality and the dedication of the whole crew to make this training week a success. Special thanks goes to Nanda Pratama (himself a QuestUAV pilot in Indonesia) for his translation work and training support.

Nigel and Stuart, now on the way back home, will bring many impressions and perspectives back to the QuestUAV workshop and we are looking forward to hear more stories from Indonesia.

Nigel King & GGP
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Q200 Launch

QuestUAV Taking Off in Indonesia – GGP Team Successfully Completed First Training Flights


The Crew at GGP Performed Well at Their First Q-200 Agri-Pro Flights


After Theory Comes Practice

After two days intensive classroom training and lots of new information to take in, the GGP (Great Giant Pineapple) crew was ready to go out and gain the first practical flight experiences. Under supervision of the QuestUAV trainers, Nigel and Stuart, the team conducted their first three successful flights; practiced auto take-off, flying in different modes (auto and assisted) and parachute landing.

 

Q200 GGP Indonesia

Crew Roles Are Assigned and Tasks Clearly Defined

Our QuestUAV trainers are teaching two flight teams, who will operate two Q-200 Agri-Pros independently at the GGP plantation. Each core flight team now consists of a fixed pilot and a laptop commander. Their task and responsibilities are clearly defined by the QuestUAV rule set in order to guarantee a safe and smooth flight operation at GGP. Other people at GGP are helping with transportation, site setup and catering. At some stage today the flight team was supported by more than 15 assisting persons!

Q200 GGP Indonesia

We Have The First Results

The first camera flights brought us stunning pictures from the pineapple fields. Images are taken with both a visible camera and an infrared camera and are going to be processed into orthomosaics and NDVI maps for the assessment of plant health and crop status.

We are looking forward to seeing the first processing results and further flights of a great new QuestUAV flight team!

Crop Post Processing
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Q200 Agri Pro

Q-200 AGRI Pro International Training Continues Apace in Indonesia


QuestUAV Training Team Starts Large-Team International Training with the Q-200 with GGP


One of QuestUAV Ltd's flight training teams arrived in Indonesia this past weekend, to provide in-country training for GGP (Great Giant Pineapple). Sunday saw the completion of a successful series of test flights with Q-200 AGRI Twin NDVI aircraft.

Q200 Indonesia

Training began in earnest yesterday and today saw the first flights with the flight teams in-country. Some 18 people from these teams (and other GGP staff with a need to understand the technology) are taking part in QuestUAV international training within Indonesia this week.

Q200 Indonesia

Project Background


GGP grow a majority of premium Pineapple crop, although they are also responsible for Banana, Palm Oil and Casava plantation areas and a growing segment of other tropical fruits. The plantations are over 30,000 Ha in area. UAV images and the UAV project are phase one of GGPs initiative to integrate precision agriculture firmly within their growing processes. Phase 1 of this initiative are the UAV flight, monitoring and image collection missions that this current training is enabling. Phase 2 will see GGP purchase large GPS-driven farm machinery to make use of the GIS output provided by the teams in Phase 1.


 

Q200 Indonesia Pineapple

QuestUAV trainers will continue to assess and instruct the flight teams throughout this week and into next. We will keep you posted.


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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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