Propeller AeroPoints – Do they work in the real world?

by coptrz on September 21, 2017

Propeller AeroPoints

With the increase in drones being used as a key surveying tool, many questions are being asked about the accuracy of their GPS positioning from the sky. 3D mapping can be easily achieved with the use of a basic GPS enabled drone and processing software. However, for times when pinpoint accuracy is required, it is advised to utilise an RTK enabled aircraft and/or additional ground control points. There are a number of tools available to increase the accuracy of your survey data from the sky, one of which being Propeller AeroPoints.

COPTRZ UAV Strategist and Surveying expert Mark Brown had the pleasure of testing a set of Propeller AeroPoints in front of a crowd at one of COPTRZ recent CAA Training Courses.

Read Mark’s review and data analysis below:

What are Propeller AeroPoints?

The Propeller AeroPoint is a smart ground control point (GCP) that aims to make the collection of survey grade data from a drone both accurate and efficicient. They are the world’s only ground control points that have been specifically designed to work alongside drones, and it it clear to see from their tranportable design. Available in sets of 10, AeroPoints work collaboratively against each other to provide accurate positional data during a UAV flight.

Upon testing, the COPTRZ team were particularly impressed with just how easy they are to use. Within a matter of minutes we had the Propeller AeroPoints in place and the drone up in the air collecting data. As soon as the AeroPoints are placed on the ground they begin recording their position and take new readings several times per minute. We were lucky enough to get some pretty heavy rain showers during the testing period and the AeroPoints maintained their performance accuracy throughout.

 

Propeller AeroPoints

A Quick Step Guide

  • Place the Propeller AeroPoints at strategic locations around the surveyed area and press the on button located on each AeroPoint
  • Survey the area as you would like any other aerial survey
  • Once the survey is complete, at the press of a button the data will be uploaded to the cloud through your phones hotspot or wifi connected nearby (takes 5 minutes max). The Propeller Aeropoints can store data from 100+ flights before an upload is required.
  • Login to the Propeller Correction Network and click ‘process’. Your flight data will now be processed and available as either .PDF, KML or CSV within a matter of hours. (Propeller say up to 24 hours but we have noted an average of 2 hours for processing)
  • Upload the data in to your favoured 3D modelling software (Pix4D, Agisoft, AeroPoints Propeller Platform)

The Results

After our initial test flight using the Propeller AeroPoints to survey Highfield Park in Hook, Hampshire, we were delighted to receive positional accuracy of less than 15mm. This accuracy could have been improved by some distance had we used more than only 3 AeroPoints during the test survey.

See the data below for how we received points accurate to X,Y error 2-11mm and Z max 15mm.

Propeller AeroPoints Data

Be sure to check back on the COPTRZ blog in the coming weeks as we plan to colaborate with our surveying customers and show the benefits of Propeller AeroPoints in some larger surveying projects.

In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about how Propeller AeroPoints can help improve positional accuracy in your drone surveying, please contact the COPTRZ team on 0330 111 7177 or email info@coptrz.com