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Aeromao Aeromapper F.A.Q.

January 02, 2017

Below are some answers to questions you might have when considering an Aeromao's Aeromapper UAV. Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions.

Do I need a base station or network in order to achieve centimeter accuracy with the GNSS PPK optional addition?

Yes. Any Dual Frequency GNSS base station will work with the system. The GNSS system is based on post processing (PPK) and thereby eliminates the complexities involved with RTK (Real Time Kinematic) radio links as well as reducing the over-all weight of the drone, while still providing the same level of accuracy. Minimum observation rate required at the base station is 1Hz. Alternatively, you can subscribe to a positioning service to obtain virtual reference station data. We can provide an extra GNSS receiver to be used as a base station. Please contact us for more information.

What's the accuracy when using an Aeromapper drone with no GNSS PPK addition?

As average 5-10 cm accuracy can be achieved for 50 hectares (123 acres) using 4 GCPs. For each additional 25 hectacres (62 acres) one GCP is required to maintain this level of accuracy. Increasing the number of GCPs will increase the accuracy even more.

A high performance GNSS L1/L2 dual frequency 20Hz GPS receiver is offered as an option for the Aeromapper 300 and Aeromapper Talon. This enables the user to achieve up to 2 cm accuracy with no GCPs. Images are georeferenced very accurately using Post Processing Kinematic (PPK) GPS technology.

How are images georeferenced when the PPK upgrade is not used?

If the PPK upgrade is not used, you can geotag the images by following the procedure provided by Ardupilot here.

Do you provide training?

Yes, factory UAV training is available to our customers. Typical UAV training takes one day at a flying field, and all aspects of aircraft preparation are covered. Image processing training, however, is not included. Customers are advised to schedule at least two days for this training in order to have an extra day to accommodate for weather conditions. The training is held in Ontario Canada.

Although factory training is available, it is not required to use the Aeromapper UAV. The UAVs are delivered ready to use, complete with detailed user manual that has many examples, videos and photos, checklists, and information covering every aspect of the flight to enable you to successfully launch your first drone flight. Many customers with no prior experiences have flown the Aeromapper drones without issues. Just follow the steps indicated in the manual and double check your mission plan before flight.

After 2 or 3 solo flights, you will see how easy our UAV systems are to operate. You will be ready for real missions in no time!

Is it difficult to pack the parachute back into the UAV?

Repacking the parachute is simple and only takes about 2 to 3 minutes. Here is a complete video on how to pack the parachute using the Aeromapper 300 as an example.

Why doesn't the Aeromappers require camera stabilization?

Since our UAVs use a conventional airframe configuration (i.e. has a tail with horizontal and vertical stabilizers), they provide very stable flights even during crosswinds. Unlike flying wings (or tail-less configurations), conventional airframes are much more stable and have independent yaw control to compensate for crosswinds. A camera gimbal, therefore, is not necessary for the Aeromapper drones.

How is the camera trigger controlled?

The camera is triggered automatically by the autopilot based on distance of flight. When the user creates the mission, the survey tool will ask the user to enter the target area, altitude, overlaps, and some camera information (which is provided in the manual). With these inputs, the autopilot calculates and displays the distance between images, number of images, resulting ground resolution, and other important parameters. You can graphically review the mission before flight, and monitor the mission in real-time during flight.

The number of images is directly related to the post processing time. So you are able to optimize process time with ground resolution before starting the mission.

What mission control software or ground control station is required?

Mission Planner by 3DRobotics is required to create missions and to communicate with the drone during flight (i.e. data link). The Aeromapper User's Manual will provide you with the instructions on how to download the software and create missions.

How are flight missions created?

Creating a complete survey mission with the Aeromappers is very easy and one of the best features of our system. Our customers are constantly impressed by the power and simplicity of the software after their first flight.

A full survey of several square kilometers, even with waypoints at different altitudes, can be created in seconds. Just click on the map to select the target area (google earth), select altitude, overlaps, orientation of the lines, and enter the camera settings according to your user's manual. The autopilot automatically calculates the following:

  • Flight paths and distance between them.
  • Total area
  • Total distance of flight
  • Distance between images
  • Ground resolution
  • Total number of images
  • Footprint size

After this, the mission can be reviewed and the takeoff altitude entered. The mission is now ready to be downloaded to the autopilot wirelessly via the data link. Examples of missions are covered more thoroughly in the User`s Manual.

A video tutorial on how to create a survey mission can be found here.

How is the parachute deployed?

The parachute is deployed using the transmitter (remote controller). It is not autopilot controlled, so ultimately you control the timing of the deployment. A more detailed explanation is included in the User's Manual.

When the UAV has finished the mission (or when the user executes the return-to-home command) it returns to home and loiters over home at a predefined altitude. The center of the loiter circle and the altitude can be quickly changed.  Usually the altitude is readjusted to 30m (98 ft) over the ground and then the parachute is released. With some practice, the pilot can easily make the UAV land in an area of about 30x30m (98x98 ft).

Can you install other cameras outside of your offering?

Yes, we do custom installations for imaging systems that are outside of our usual offering. Please email us with the device information and we'll evaluate the feasibility of the installation.

What is the operating temperature range of the Aeromapper family of drones?

We have operated the drones  with no problem in temperatures of -15° to +40° C (5° to 104° F).

Are Aeromapper drones permitted to fly commercially?

Yes. Customers received Section 333 Exemptions to conduct commercial operations in the United States, and SFOC applications were approved for operations in Canada.

The Aeromapper drones meet the design standards of FAA and Transport Canada for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The features of the Aeromapper drones such as the parachute landing system and long range data & control links have played a significant role in demonstrating to the authorities that the Aeromapper drones are one of the safest UAVs available for commercial applications.

Are Aeromapper drones ITAR free?

Yes. All Aeromapper drones are free from International Traffic in Arms Regulations.