Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2018

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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36  October/November 2018 unmanned systems inside of change this out and can really trade off a lot of parameters that typically a single camera struggles to do." The multi-platform technology can be put on differ- ent types of platforms to accomplish a variety of UAS mission needs. To explain this, Tilley walked through a workf low and talked about the difference in relative and absolute accuracy. He shared case data from a UAS that was processed in the field. That data includes GPS signals sent up to the company's cloud processing sys- tem "where all the magic happens." In the production engine, Visual Intelligence is able to take that data and produce what the company calls a virtual frame. The vir- tual frame puts an array of cameras together to make it look like it's a single camera. But with the advantages of redundancy in the solution for the virtual frame, you end up getting better positional accuracy as it moves in to 3-D models and ortho (imagery) products. Visual Intelligence's array technology is designed for both commercial and Department of Defense (DOD) applications. You've got to have really good relative ac- curacy and then you can really capitalize on the absolute accuracy that the dual RTK gives you, Tilley said. The commercial industry is pushing way farther than some DOD requirements. "We're into sub millimeters in terms of our relative accuracy and centimeters in terms of our positional accuracies," he said. "And the reason of course is the information value that we're trying to relate from an image or 3-D model to the value of that model in terms of as asset. Also, to describe figures for main- tenance and trying to understand how to replace it. We have to understand that physical object. In many cases that physical object can't be understood until we're down into the centimeter, millimeter range with any kind of high accuracy." Case studies and slides from Tilley illustrate the im- portance of factory and in-f light calibrations in terms of accuracy, and how his company's technology helps deliver this extreme level of accuracy. In one case, the users got a 2X resolution, which typically can be attained at 200 to 400 feet above ground level with a wide field system getting all the way down to one millimeter reso- lution on an oil and gas "Christmas tree" driven by the need to read serial numbers to measure bolt sizes and bolt patterns. "So if we're trying to understand an asset, we have to be down at this level to correlate it with a catalogue and judge the type of asset to high accuracy," he said. "So im- age quality is very important because in a lot of cases we're generating lots of pixels and to process those and get to a meaningful answer is extremely important." IN SUMMARY We think high accuracy is going to continue to push the value of what UAS systems can do. The availability of high accuracy GPS sensors and the dual band sensors that complement the relative accuracy of the sensors working together,really open up new markets that are demanding this level of accuracy. Automated asset management, automated mainte- nance, virtual reality, augmented reality applications and many newer applications will be counting on the higher accuracies delivered by dual channel RTK. Final points from the webinar include: • High relative accuracy is essential to capitalize on the value of increasingly accurate and reliable GPS sensors. • As greater accuracy is available in UAS platforms, new markets will be ready to capitalize. • Increased accuracy is critical to the success of asset management and operations in telecom, oil and gas, DoD/intel markets, and more. WEBINAR RECAP » DUAL CHANNEL RTK Trimble Integrated Technologies play a key role in a number of everyday applications.

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