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Forestry - Tree plantation management

3D photomesh and orthomosaic of bluegum tree plantation.

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Small Drone Mapping 101

The Aero Scout shares his experiences with UAV mapping and 3D models.

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Alkimos Beach - 3D Photomesh and Orthomosaic

Alkimos beach aerial survey to produce a 3D photomesh and orthomosaic.

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Chestnut Brae - Farm planning map

Demonstrating how drone imagery can be used as a base for effective farm planning.

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Small Construction Site - 3D Photomesh and Orthomosaic

UAV aerial survey of a construction site to produce a 3D photomesh and orthomosaic.

A new fixed wing Aero Scout - Hobbyking Skyray



The brand new fixed wing Aero Scout, the Skyray, with APM 2.6 plus telemetry and tablet running Tower app mission planner
The time has come to spread my wings further. :)

Now I just love my Tali H500 however it's very limiting with it's endurance. I'm lucky to get 15min flight time out of one battery and with it flying mapping missions at around 5m/s this does not enable me to map larger areas, somewhere around 5 hectares. So I'll keep using it, but more of a 'structure scanner' for doing low altitude, high detail, 3D models of buildings, it's perfect for that.

This time instead of purchasing a RTF 'ready to fly' system I decided to build my own. I did purchase an airframe from Hobbyking called the Skyray, it's a flying wing style created for FPV. I discarded the dome and installed the optional foam nose, I then installed an old APM 2.6 I had lying around that I purchased from Jeff at Event 38 a few years ago. After some bench testing and a couple of basic test flights at the flying field I installed a Canon compact camera, hacked with CHDK to get an intervelometer script working to take a photo every 2 seconds. I've added a 3DR telemetry radio and this communicates well with Tower app installed on my Android tablet. It's very easy to program survey grid waypoints for automatic missions and it's great to receive feedback from the drone in real time on the map screen and dashboard. Now I have a compact and rugged flying wing UAV with a 20Mp camera that flies like a dream and is all setup for some basic mapping.

I have taken it down to the farm for run a few field tests and it worked like a charm. On all of the days is was gusty and moist, on one of the days I flew it in-between showers from a storm and I was very impressed. It's even survived a close encounter with two Wedgetail Eagles that were'nt suuper impressed with it flying in their region.

I look forward to furthering my mapping adventures with this new fixed wing drone and I look forward to bring you some great maps and 3D models.

This has been another 'drone adventure' in aerial surveying, inspection and mapping by The Aero Scout.