Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.
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22 unmanned systems inside June/July 2016 AIR HARDWARE RTK GPS, together with a quality IMU, provides very precise photos for surveying and mapping applications, Benharrosh said. These features make it possible to accurately measure pitch and roll. Larger endurance platforms also have the ability to carry Lidar, which is an espe- cially important tool for surveyors. "With Lidar you can see the ground even when there's vegetation," Benharrosh said. "You can see a very specific object like a power cable. When you want very specific detail Li- dar can be a better option." More Support What you get from the companies behind these more robust systems is more than just the physical UAS. They also offer training and an ongoing relationship with both hardware and software support, Gervaix said. If some- thing goes wrong, operators aren't left to figure it out on their own. Professionals trained in the field are there to help. "When customers spend a lot of money on a system, they should have a seamless workf low so they can get the results they need. And if there are issues, they don't have to worry about one vendor pointing fingers at another vendor," said Sean Chard, southeast channel manager at Trimble. Pearson said he's been pleased with the people behind microdrones and the support they offer. "The support system behind it is really excel- lent," Pearson said. "Because it's a mature airframe they come up with ways to improve it all the time and that trickles down to us. It's not just aging, it's constantly being updated and improved. Most people who want to start flying UAS for surveying and mapping don't know much about aerial imaging, Snyder said. They might be experi- enced in ground surveying, but see the benefits of moving into aerial surveying with an unmanned platform and are eager to get started. They might not realize how much more professional systems can do for them versus a consumer grade sys- tem, so they start out small and soon realize they should have asked more questions about the man- ufacturer and the drone they invested in. "This is an industry wide problem," said Dave Henderson, director, geospatial sales for Topcon Positioning Systems, the company that manufactures the Sirius Pro and the Falcon 8. "People come to us after buying something for less money and finding that, while it performed portions of the job OK, it wasn't a complete so- lution and didn't meet their long term require- ments. They didn't really understand what they were purchasing until they used it for a month or two. Then they realized the drawbacks." SURVEYING A RAILWAY When J.L. PATTERSON & ASSOCIATES WAS SELECTED BY THE CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY to perform design work that needed to be completed by December 2017, they turned to SENSEFLY for help. There was no surveying data available for the Los Angeles to Anaheim corridor, according to senseFly, and using ground-based techniques would have been too diffcult and time consuming. Using manned aircraft wasn't possible, so the frm turned to the eBee RTK. Even though there were challenges along the way, they successfully surveyed a dense urban corridor in less than a month. Traditional surveying methods would have taken four times as long. "WHEN CUSTOMERS SPEND A LOT OF MONEY on a system, they should have a seamless workfow so they can get the results they need. And if there are issues, they don't have to worry about one vendor pointing fngers at another vendor." Sean Chard, southeast channel manager, Trimble Photo courtesy of senseFly The senseFly eBee during a mining application.