Mapping with Unmanned Airborne Systems (UAS)

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This presentation was given to Florida URISA via webinar on February 13, 2014 by Bill Emison, Senior Account Manager for Merrick & Company of Greenwood Village, Colorado. The purpose of this webinar was to provide an objective and practical review of current unmanned airborne mapping capabilities in the United States.

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Mapping with Unmanned Airborne Systems (UAS)

  1. 1. Mapping with Unmanned Airborne Systems (UAS) February 13, 2014 Engineering | Architecture | Design-Build | Surveying | GeoSpatial Solutions
  2. 2. Today’s Agenda  Introductions  Current / Objectives UAS Regulations (FAA)  UAS Components & Types  UAS Navigation  Sensor  UAS Payloads Software  Inspection / Surveillance vs. Mapping  UAS Outdoor Mapping Deliverables  UAS Indoor Mapping  Industry PREXXXX 2 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved. Forecast / Future Trends
  3. 3. Today’s Objective Provide an objective and practical review of current unmanned airborne mapping capabilities PREXXXX 3 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Corporate Overview  Corporate headquarters: Greenwood Village, Colorado  Founded in 1955; employee-owned  $110M annual revenue (FY13)  > 480 employees at 15 domestic + 4 international offices  Market Focus  Energy  National Security  Life Sciences  Sustainable Infrastructure  Market Sector Teams  Infrastructure (Geospatial, Survey, Water & Civil Engineering)  High Performance Facilities Energy  Life Sciences Nuclear Services & Technology PREXXXX 4 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Presenter Bio – Bill Emison • Senior Account Manager (Commercial Accounts) for the Geospatial Solutions (GSS) team • Also provide support as Corporate Communications Specialist for Sustainable Infrastructure team; MARS® Product Manager • Geospatial professional since 1993 with experience in solutions consulting; software & service sales; technical marketing and communications • Employed by Merrick’s GSS team since January 2006. PREXXXX 5 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  6. 6. UAS ≠ Drones PREXXXX 6 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Jackass ALERT!!! FAA warns public against shooting guns at drones "Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane." PREXXXX 7 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Current US (FAA) UAS Regulations  Currently, a Certificate of Authorization (COA) is required to operate an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in US national airspace  Only federal, state, or local agencies are considered for COA awards  FAA test sites (proving grounds) have been awarded to Virginia, Texas, Alaska, New York, North Dakota and Nevada; will conduct critical research into the certification and operational requirements necessary to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace over the next several years  Remote Control (RC) hobbyists can operate remotely controlled vehicles for recreational uses only:   RC vehicle cannot exceed 400 feet above ground level (AGL)   Not allowed for commercial business use of any kind  cannot fly to make money! RC vehicle cannot interfere with any type of air traffic - must be flown away from airports and air traffic FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (H.R. 658)  Signed into law on February 14, 2012 by President Obama  This bill orders the FAA to figure out how to integrate commercial UAV usage into the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS)  Also under the bill, the FAA is required to provide military, commercial, and privately-owned drones with expanded access to U.S. airspace by Sep. 30, 2015  That means permitting unmanned drones controlled by remote operators on the ground--also called unmanned airborne systems (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)--to fly in the same airspace as airlines, cargo planes, business jets and private aircraft.  More information can be found at http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/ PREXXXX 8 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  9. 9. UAS Components Aircraft Navigation System Unmanned Airborne Systems (UAS) Sensor PREXXXX 9 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved. Software
  10. 10. UAS Types Fixed wing  Efficient for area/site mapping  Typically flies racetrack or “mowing the yard” patterns  Best for persistent surveillance (orbital loitering) Rotary – helicopter or “multicopter” (ex. quad / hexa / octo copters)  Best for slow, stabilized collection  Efficient for corridor mapping Others – blimps, kites, gliders PREXXXX 10 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  11. 11. UAS Aircraft Comparisons PREXXXX 11 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  12. 12. Hawkeye RQ-84Z www.hawkeyeuav.com PREXXXX 12 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  13. 13. UAS Navigation  Remotely controlled  Third person view    requires constant line-of-sight not acceptable, too much risk First person view   “soda straw” view, still high risk for collision with obstruction (tree branch, power line, etc.) Pre-defined flight plan (auto pilot)   requires video transmission  Accurate digital surface models required Fully autonomous - detect, sense, and avoid (DSA) obstacles for collision avoidance PREXXXX 13 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  14. 14. UAS Sensor Payloads      Video Imagery Thermal Magnetometer Purpose driven remote sensing tools  Radioactive measurement  Gas detection  Acoustic detection  Signal detection  LiDAR PREXXXX 14 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  15. 15. USACE Buckeye LiDAR UAS continued PREXXXX 15 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  16. 16. UAS Software Surveillance / Inspection Mapping Real-time video or image downlink Flight planning Flight controls Flight management Primary flight display Data download / coverage check Camera controls APM and AT Object tracking Surface model extraction Video stabilization Orthorectification Waypoint navigation Mosaicing Video or image post processing Analysis PREXXXX 16 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Surveillance / Inspection vs. Mapping  Emphasis  Duration  Stabilization for zoom  Some transmit real-time video/imagery, others store for review later  More emphasis on image/video gathering, less on geographic placement of data  Typically used in situations that are dull, distant, or dangerous  Sensor types    Imagery Video Products  Non-georeferenced digital imagery  Non-georeferenced digital video  Possibly structure from motion (SFM) PREXXXX 17 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Surveillance / Inspection Examples PREXXXX 18 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  19. 19. UAS Outdoor Mapping  Filling the gap between traditional topo surveying and the medium and high altitude photogrammetry  Sensor types  Electro Optical (EO / RGB)    Small Format, Non-metric, Digital Cameras Medium Format, Metric, Digital Cameras Other Sensor Types   Multi-Spectral Imagery (MSI)  Thermal Infrared (TIR)  Hyperspectral Imaging (HSI)  Oblique Imagery   Color Infrared (CIR) Video Products  Orthophoto Mosaics (Ortho)  Digital Surface Model (DSM)  Planimetric Map Products  Change Detection  Volumetrics  3D Modeling PREXXXX 19 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  20. 20. UAS Outdoor Mapping Deliverables PREXXXX 20 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  21. 21. UAS Indoor Mapping  Autonomous Navigation  Simultaneous  Real-time  Detect, Localization and Mapping (SLAM) Sensor Processing Required Avoid, Collect  Minimize Occlusions  Products  3D Models  360° Panoramas  Point Clouds  CAD Files PREXXXX 21 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Industry Forecasts  Chris Anderson, Wired.com, June 2012: “All told, there are probably around 1,000 new personal drones that take to the sky every month (3D Robotics, a company I cofounded, is shipping more than 100 ArduPilot Megas a week); that figure rivals the drone sales of the world’s top aerospace companies (in units, of course, not dollars). And the personal drone industry is growing much faster.”  Teal Group market study – “World Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems – 2011” UAV spending is on pace to double during the next decade from current worldwide expenditures of $5.9 billion annually to $11.3 billion, totaling just more than $94 billion. The study suggests the United States will account for 77 percent of the research and development spending on UAV technology during the next decade and about 69 percent of the procurement. PREXXXX The UAV electro-optical/infrared sensors (EO/IRS) system market has entered a period of continuing steady growth. Teal Group estimates that U.S. spending alone on such systems will grow from $813 million in fiscal year 2011 to nearly $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2020. 22 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.
  23. 23. Future Trends  Consumers  Easier use – more automation   Lower cost   Integration into consumer products (like Google Earth) Technology  Fleets of multiple UAS via flocking and networking technologies  Improvements in autonomous controls   Professionals Detect, Sense, and Avoid (DSA) for collision avoidance 3D modeling for navigation  Larger (MP) and better (metric) cameras  Range imaging  More variety of sensors  LiDAR  LiDAR  Hyperspectral  Sensor fusion   Solar powered stratospheric platforms  data relay  various monitoring tasks PREXXXX 23 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved. Better fuel cells enabling longer flight times  Miniaturization - micro UAS   Improved stabilization  Persistent surveillance Standardization of control system and common use between different kinds of UAV  Automated and real time data processing   Automated in-flight decision making and actionable use What LiDAR was to terrain mapping 10+ years ago, unmanned aerial systems will be to aerial surveillance, inspection, and mapping in 5-10 years
  24. 24. Contact Information Merrick & Company: www.merrick.com Unmanned Airborne Services: www.merrick.com/uas Bill Emison, Senior Account Manager E-mail: bill.emison@merrick.com Tel: (303) 353-3634 Twitter: @Merrick_Geo PREXXXX 24 Copyright © 2010 Merrick & Company All rights reserved.

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