The mapping and surveying industries have been flipped on their heads in recent years with the growth of commercially available drones. For an industry that used to be largely analog with theodolites and chain measurements, new drone technology is allowing surveyors to get highly accurate data in a matter of hours, vs. days spent walking around conducting terrestrial surveys.
Many new surveying drones take on the traditional quadcopter design, but while this system is stable, it lacks one thing: speed.
Drones with a quadcopter design are also more affected by weight, making it complicated to carry heavy and high-end payloads.
Sure, quadcopters are faster than manual surveying, but could there be a more useful and efficient design? A company by the name of Wingtra knows there is.
Wingtra produces the WingtraOne, a professional vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone that benefits the geospatial and surveying industries. The design allows for convenient vertical take-off and more efficient cruise-mode flight. Combine this with the high-quality payloads and WingtraOne users enjoy up to 80% faster, mapping operations with accuracies down to survey-grade.
For anyone familiar with these industries, you'll likely understand the importance of VTOL design. Real-world applications see a scarcity of wide-open fields that enable the belly landing of a traditional fixed-wing drone. Even if there is a wide-open space, the terrain can be unforgiving, so belly landings can easily result in broken parts, cameras, or at least shock and damage to the drone.
Combining the maneuverability of a quadcopter with the efficient flight of a fixed-wing, VTOL drone technology equals the best of both worlds.
Now that we understand the advantage of fixed-wing flight, the next question arises: can mapping data be accurate when it’s captured at a higher speed? The WingtraOne and its payloads answer this question with a well-tested “yes.”
WingtraOne features a 42 MP full-frame payload, allowing image resolution down to 0.7 cm/px (0.3 in/px). This sensor combined with a high-quality GNSS receiver enables the drone to achieve an accuracy of down to 1 cm (0.4 in). These measures were previously only possible with traditional surveying devices and never with broad-coverage mapping drones.
All of this means that faster flights and highly-accurate data are possible with the WingtraOne, cutting down on surveying time and raising the standards around accuracy in the context of broad drone survey coverage.
Mining and surveying are two of the many applications where the WingtraOne’s features shine.
Mining Operation Data Capture
Mining operations have started to adopt drone technology in recent years. With the visual data from drone maps, mining operators experience smoother workflows based on clearer information. All of this allows them to manage sites and quarries more efficiently.
Above all, this data can be safely produced by on-site workers with minimal surveying experience at a fraction of the cost of traditional survey methods.
Drones also provide thousands of more data points in one single map, making them more information-rich than traditional measuring methods.
Surveying and Mapping
Drones collect images that can be assembled into orthomosaics and 3D models of areas where traditional surveying methods would be less feasible and more expensive. WingtraOne not only gathers this data faster over larger areas, but it also provides the best resolution and accuracy in its class for a given flight altitude.
WingtraOne data can be analyzed with a range of compatible photogrammetry software allowing customers to use the collected information in their day-to-day processes. Digital 2D and 3D models can be used for various measurements such as distance, area and volume calculations and much more.
Wingtra mapping data is also compatible with CAD or BIM software so that it supports the work of engineers on the ground and boosts visibility and planning through software they are used to working with.
Photogrammetry outputs based on drone data then provides a wealth of data points in any given map that ensures good location accuracy via fewer hand-laid ground control points.
Repeatable surveys are accomplished in a fraction of the time and enable regular comparison of actual project progress with blueprints and schedules. Stakeholders at all levels can then meet faster on the same page based on accurate, clear information.
Other Major Applications
In the agriculture industry, the drone provides growers and farmers the ability to efficiently manage their crops and plan for the future. With high-res RGB and the leading-edge multispectral drone payload on-board, the WingtraOne can even spot health problems in crops.
On the environmental front, the WingtraOne is perfectly suited for scouting and tracking wildlife to ensure conservation. In fact, the agility of a VTOL drone allows for environmental research to be conducted more easily, safely, efficiently and cost-effectively than manned aircraft, and more accurately than with satellite imagery.
The WingtraOne also fits into construction professionals’ site management workflows, progress tracking, and frequent plan-to-actual comparisons... The WingtraOne helps quickly map unreachable areas and makes it easier to track the construction process over large areas.
All of these use cases together highlight WingtraOne’s extensive capabilities across a range of industries. Take a look at the short video below to get a real-life idea of the functionality of this unique and empowering mapping drone.