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Position Partners’ Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) experts from Australia and New Zealand gathered in Sydney earlier this month to undertake comprehensive training on the new RPAS survey bundles, which include revolutionary Propeller AeroPoint ground control technology, Propeller Aero web-based data analysis tools and a choice of either the popular Phantom 4 aircraft or the high performance M100 quadcopter.

World-leading hardware

DJI is the world’s largest drone manufacturer, with an extimated 70% market share across multiple industries. The popular Phantom 4 is used by videographers, hobbyists and now, thanks to the addition of AeroPoint and Propeller Aero software, surveyors and engineers. “AeroPoints transform the solution into a survey-grade tool,” said RPAS product manager Gavin Docherty (pictured above holding RPAS), adding “each AeroPoint provides a reference point with absolute coordinates and data is cross-referenced with Position Partners national CORS network, AllDayRTK.” Data can then be analysed and used on Propeller Aero’s web-based platform.

Ease of use is key

Mark Clarkson, NSW Major Projects consultant (3rd from left, above), was impressed by how intuitive and user-friendly the solution is. “From an end user standpoint, these new bundles are truly unique in their simplicity, whilst the accuracy of the results is impressive,” he said. “Until now the focus has always been first on how to fly the aircraft and secondly how to process and extract the data, but with these bundles it’s a really straightforward and efficient process.”

Mark explained that the flight planning and remote control software for the aircraft is intuitive and can be run from a tablet or smartphone, without the need to wire up extra hardware or a laptop. After the flight, position information from the AeroPoint ground control points along with the flight data, is sent to Propeller Aero via the Cloud. This removes the need to post process data on a computer and users can also view, analyse and share datasets via a secure website.

Processing and sharing data

“Previously our customers would set up post processing on their computer overnight or even over the weekend for a large dataset, but now they can send it to Propeller Aero and have the data available faster,” Mark added. “There is still a degree of mistrust in Cloud-based services, both from a security perspective and also in terms of trusting the output,” he continued, “although both are unfounded and a report to demonstrate the processing results will give users more peace of mind.”

Sharing datasets represents a significant productivity improvement, as customers can give secure access to project shareholders without the need to send large files. “It will also enable us to demonstrate what’s possible with RPAS by sharing test datasets with customers, so they can play with the data and verify that the results will meet their expectations,” Mark added.

New workflow, new levels of productivity

Jamie Nelson, New Zealand Sales Manager (2nd from right, above), was equally impressed by the workflow: “This survey grade solution will allow companies to access and use RPAS technology in a way as if it were a Total station or GPS which have become standard pieces of equipment for the modern surveyor.”

“Having the data processed in the Cloud, viewed, interrogated and being able to share to your clients adds even more value to the package and gives a clear direction of how this technology has evolved in a short period of time,” he added.

Position Partners offers comprehensive sales, training and support for customers throughout Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. “We back industry-leading technology with local expertise and know-how,” Gavin said, adding, “with a large, manufacturer-trained team, we look forward to assisting customers at every stage of their journey into RPAS mapping.”

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