Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 2017

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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65 unmanned systems inside August/September 2017 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. As for the photogrammetry, he said, "Flying at 40 feet, the error with photogrammetry is just too high. We see it rounding off the tops of the ridges and rounding up the bottoms of the furrows and with that kind of imprecision you just can't make good decisions as to how to manage the tillage." So, with the right f light parameters, drone-based LiDAR, as demonstrated by Juniper Unmanned, using DJI and YellowScan hardware, came out the clear winner, providing a highly accurate and precise representation of the actual physical state of ground tillage on the surface of the Salton Basin. The method was more accurate to drone-based photo- grammetry. And it was nearly as good as, though much easier, faster and cheaper to carry out, than conventional handheld RTK. Bright Horizons Tillage is only one of the methods currently being em- ployed to reduce dust in the Salton Basin. "They are also planting iodine plants to slow down the wind," said Roorda, a method that also could be assessed using drone- based LiDAR, which is highly sensitive to all sorts of f lora characteristics. And there are other places similar to the Salton Sea where, moving forward, drone-based LiDAR could be a key part of the environmental engineer's tool kit. Owens Lake, in the Owens Valley, on the eastern side of California's Sierra Nevada, is a case in point. As of 2013, Owens Lake was the largest single source of dust pollution in the United States. Most of the dry lakes in that area have been dry for thousands of years. Owens, however, held a significant amount of water until 1913, when the Owens River was diverted into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Today, the lake contains some water again, the f low from the Owens River hav- ing been partially restored in an attempt to curb the amount of dust coming off the dry lake bed. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power also has been assessing the efficacy of tillage in the Owens Valley, like the tillage being tested in the Salton Basin, as a waterless dust control method. In addi- tion, large clay clods that are non-dust-emissive have also become a focus of interest. Again, high-precision LiDAR like that employed by Juniper in the Salton Basin would seem to be tailor-made for assessing these kinds of ground features. Tool for Restoration "It's a sad story," said Roorda, ref lecting on the situa- tion at the Salton Sea. "it's a human story." Roorda pointed out that, while we now use tools like LiDAR in the construction and civil engineering sectors—where the ultimate aim is to alter the physi- cal environment—we can also use them to heal and restore the environment. "That's why I see LiDAR as the ultimate tool," he said. "Because it can allow us to have a better rela- tionship with the earth and help heal what we have done to the earth in our industrial age." DJI Matrice 600 Pro • Diagonal wheelbase: 1133 mm • Dimensions unfolded: 1668 × 1518 × 727 mm* • Dimensions folded: 437 × 402 × 553 mm* • Weight with six TB47S batteries: 9.5 kg • Weight with six TB48S batteries: 10 kg • Max recommended takeoff weight: 15.5 kg • Hovering accuracy (P-GPS): vertical: ±0.5 m, horizontal: ±1.5 m • Max pitch angle: 25° GEAR • Max wind resistance: 8 m/s • Max speed: 40 mph / 65 kph (no wind) YellowScan Surveyor LiDAR Scanner • Laser scanner frequency: 300 kHz • Weight with battery: 1.6 kg • Power consumption: 15 W • Autonomy: 2 hours typical • Dimensions: 100 x 150 x 140 mm *with propellers, frame arms and GPS mount, including landing gear As of 2013, Owens Lake was the largest single source done to the earth in our industrial age." 1133 mm • Max wind resistance: • Max speed:

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