AeroPoint - transportable automated ground points with RTK


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A new product is coming to the market soon from Propeller Aerobiotics. I have used their platform to create ortho's etc. and I really like it. They are coming out with a new product call AeroPoint. Basically they are transportable automated ground points which will give a 20mm accuracy on surveys by giving traditional ground control targets inbuilt RTK. Basically you throw the mats on the ground before your survey. You'll obviously pick them up in the data capture during your flight and use them as GCPs. They need to sit out for about 2hrs to get maximum accuracy.

As far as I know they are giving x number of mats as part of their premium data/processing package (about $1000US/month).

Their sell is that you will never need to hire or buy an  RTK gps and all your data will be hosted.

I'd like to have the workflow to afford a subscription and the mats but alas in this early stage of my business no. I really like the idea of transportable, highly accurate GCPs that you can move around from job to job. This would save a huge amount of time over trying to organise a surveyor to create GCPs for you. I also wonder if you would obtain ownership of them or would you have to hand them back after a contract period (say 12 months????).

p.s. I am in no way affiliated with this company - I just like where they are going with the industry and they are also Australian (but have since moved to Silicon Valley).

What are your thoughts?

Cheers,

Rylan

 

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These would be great. I'd much prefer to just buy their mats than to get tied into their processing set up. It is still early on and lots of changes in software. I hate getting tied into one ecosystem. If they offer similar online solutions to DD and MME, then they are basically renting you mats for $500/month, which isn't too bad. I'd just prefer to own them personally. 

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  • 1 month later...

Lewis

How did this comparison work out??

I was wondering if you or someone you know directly has done an actual comparison of volumetric measurement accuracy of Pix4D vs Drone Deploy vs Sky Catch vs Aeropoint?

I am about to turn in a proposal on a big (for me) contract and wondering which software I should invest in??  

Also, are GCPs absolutely required with any/all of these software systems to directly compete with existing ground based survey companies, (not counting companies using laser scanners) or is the density of the point cloud generated by photogrammetry sufficient to get business winning accuracy vs the tried and true "entrenched" ground based surveyors.

I am signed up to go to Pix4D's training class in New Orleans next week on Thursday to learn more in general. 

Thanks

Dale

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  • 3 weeks later...

I played with their online software. It was nice, has some features/graphics that others don't. 

I don't think anyone has done a direct comparison of all of them. I'm working with a surveying department at a college to do something similar, but it is going to get done during the next academic year (free college student labor doesn't work at my pace ;)). 

To get in with the surveyors, you are going to want to include GCPs. If you aren't a surveyor, you might be able to get by without, but those guys are going to want to get as accurate as possible. 

Overall we are staying away from the Propellor ground mats for the time being. There isn't one single thing that is stopping us, but for the amount of $ they want for mats, you can almost buy your own top of the line RTK unit and get the measurements yourself. If you end up not needing the mats in 4 months, a bit harder to sell/upgrade than a Lecia unit all surveyors use. 

We also had slight issues with being based in the US using imperial vs metric. Small minor bump, but the company is obviously still learning/figuring things out. They have A LOT of things right (including a good subscription model and white labeling).

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Lewis,

I have used the Aeropoints on numerous jobs (prototype tester - don't own a set). I'm not on the Propeller payroll :$but have worked closely with them now for over a year. Basically providing 'operator' perspectives and real life test cases of the Aeropoints and general platform feedback.

The long short of the mats is they are awesome to use. Quick to set up, literally throw them on the ground. Obviously you dont want them to move so I generally brush any stones away so they lay flat as possible. Then it is a case of pressing the button and walk away. The biggest problem is remembering to go and get them all. I started taking photos of each insitu with my iph (geotagged). After setting 10 out in the morning I have on occassion forgotten where I (finally) decided to put the odd one. Im told the guys are working on an app that will show each AP position along with other logging info.

When we started testing the accuracy was 50-100mm but this is now down to 20-50mm. Now a pdf report is generated and shows the accuracy of each Aeropoints XYZ variance. In NSW Australia we have the CORSnet (RTK) and last week I was 13km from a node. All my XY&Z values where within 20mm, often around 7mm!!! Pretty freaking cool. A few of the Aeropoints were only out logging for 30mins. I was later told by the Propeller guys that the further away from the CORSnet eg 30km the longer logging required eg 1-2hrs.

GCP Report gcp-report

After I pick up the mats, I tether them to my iph (4G helps) and each send the log to Propeller for processing/RTK correction. A log file is about 3mb. I got the GPS location report that night. I don't need it because Propeller process my imagery anyway. It does give the client/surveyor piece of mind to see the accuracy.

They are a bit pricey and depending on your clients $$$, they could just get the GCP's separately surveyed. If you are going to be doing repeat visits that's probably going to save you time... (Caveat: provided you are confident the GCP's stay intact.) But for one-off or changing job sites they are the go, especially if you are tossing up on buying Trimble or similar GPS gear (plus the annual RTK subscription!)

Lewis, as far as the imagery processing goes, make sure you check back regularly as these guys  tend to roll out new features and improvements on every other Thursday.

Cheers.

Troy

 

 

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On 3/7/2016 at 4:51 AM, Rylan Loemker said:

A new product is coming to the market soon from Propeller Aerobiotics. I have used their platform to create ortho's etc. and I really like it. They are coming out with a new product call AeroPoint. Basically they are transportable automated ground points which will give a 20mm accuracy on surveys by giving traditional ground control targets inbuilt RTK. Basically you throw the mats on the ground before your survey. You'll obviously pick them up in the data capture during your flight and use them as GCPs. They need to sit out for about 2hrs to get maximum accuracy.

As far as I know they are giving x number of mats as part of their premium data/processing package (about $1000US/month).

Their sell is that you will never need to hire or buy an  RTK gps and all your data will be hosted.

I'd like to have the workflow to afford a subscription and the mats but alas in this early stage of my business no. I really like the idea of transportable, highly accurate GCPs that you can move around from job to job. This would save a huge amount of time over trying to organise a surveyor to create GCPs for you. I also wonder if you would obtain ownership of them or would you have to hand them back after a contract period (say 12 months????).

p.s. I am in no way affiliated with this company - I just like where they are going with the industry and they are also Australian (but have since moved to Silicon Valley).

What are your thoughts?

Cheers,

Rylan

 

$1,000 a month??? Guess they are only going after huge operations...

I never forget the story of Tony, founder of Peter Piper Pizza. He used to own fancy, high priced restaurants and said: You can feed the classes and eat with the masses, or you can feed the masses and eat with the classes....lots of wisdom there for all these new, high falluting operations.

 

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On 6/13/2016 at 1:19 PM, Uaviator53 said:

You can feed the classes and eat with the masses, or you can feed the masses and eat with the classes

Love this quote. Really relate to it. I also like, "the riches are in the niches" -- helps me focus focus focus, which I think has been the hardest thing to do in business so far. I've totally got shiny-object syndrome and want to do it all! Too many cool things happening in this industry :)

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I had a question on utilizing the cloud base software and cloud computing, Have you noticed any issues with accuracy due to the compression algorithms they use to compress the data for transfer? I was talking with someone familiar with the GIS world and they mentioned this to me, i had not even thought of this being a potential precision/accuracy issue.

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  • 4 weeks later...

@RemotelyPossible To (very lately) follow up here. If you don't use GCPs, your results won't be as good as if you do. The last project we checked the difference on (a stockpile), we found our photos only w/o GCPs was 5% different than when we did use GCPs. If you need a high level of accuracy, you are going to want some control points. Depends a lot on the application. 

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Nice Thanks @Lewis@IcarusAerials any idea about the loss of detail due to any compression algorithms ( compressing the file size you are uploading) used in a cloud based system? Meaning is their a noticeable difference in the cloud based service which may compress the data to upload it, as opposed to running the application on a local rig?

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I don't have any good #s on this. If I come across something, I'll let you know. 

After I upload the files (which appear to be the same file size I have on my pc/mac), I don't know what they do with them. All of the outputs we've gotten appear to be similar in terms of quality of inputs. I think the bigger difference is the settings they process everything at vs at home. 

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  • 3 months later...
On 13/06/2016 at 0:19 AM, Uaviator53 said:

$1,000 a month??? Guess they are only going after huge operations...

I never forget the story of Tony, founder of Peter Piper Pizza. He used to own fancy, high priced restaurants and said: You can feed the classes and eat with the masses, or you can feed the masses and eat with the classes....lots of wisdom there for all these new, high falluting operations.

 

is there anyone have been compared elevatin deviation using uav rtk without gcp to uac with gcp?  could you explain the result for elevation deviation?  

 

regards, 

www.sigitriyanto.com/blog/2016/11/05/workflow-uav-aerial-mapping/

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  • 4 months later...
On 6/16/2016 at 10:52 AM, Uaviator53 said:

All these new companies want to make a killing right out of the gate. $1,000 a month???

No patience nor understanding how to build a market...

At $1000.00 a month you can afford a mapping grade GPS and Zephyr antenna on a range pole and do your own. Of course you are going to have to figure out what to spend the money you are ultimately going to save on too....

You can pick up a Trimble Geo 7X for around $7000.00....

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