Drones For Sfap

Drones—also called UAVs or MAVs—are unmanned, powered, free-flying platforms that vary greatly in their technical characteristics and photographic capabilities. They may be controlled by a pilot on the ground, who is in visual contact with the drone, or they may be

Hexakopter Uav Frame Nederland
FIGURE 8-34 JSA demonstrates a mobile anchor for the kite reel and line. The reel is attached to a harness around the waist and hips of the kite flyer. A small two-way radio (on left arm) allows communication with the camera operator near the ground target. Photo by SWA.

programmed to fly along predetermined flightlines with pictures taken automatically at specific points. The usual platform is some type of model airplane that is modified to carry a camera. Miniature helicopters, autogyros, powered paragliders, and other platforms also may be utilized as photographic drones (Fig. 8-37). Military surveillance drones, in contrast, are either relatively large or increasingly small, but always highly complex aircraft that are beyond the scope of this book.

FIGURE 8-36 Case with KAP camera rigs and radio control. The metal case with foam lining contains three complete camera rigs (marked by yellow antenna rods), radio transmitter, and accessories. Case measures ~65 x 50 x 23 cm. Although a bit heavy for long-distance hiking, it may be carried by hand for short distance, conveniently in an automobile, or as checked luggage on an airline. Photo by JSA.

FIGURE 8-35 Digital Foci Picture Porter image storage and display device. It accepts CF and SD memory cards as well as a USB cable connection for data exchange. This model contains a 75 GB hard drive, and the color screen measures 9 cm diagonally. Photo by JSA.

FIGURE 8-36 Case with KAP camera rigs and radio control. The metal case with foam lining contains three complete camera rigs (marked by yellow antenna rods), radio transmitter, and accessories. Case measures ~65 x 50 x 23 cm. Although a bit heavy for long-distance hiking, it may be carried by hand for short distance, conveniently in an automobile, or as checked luggage on an airline. Photo by JSA.

Drones have been used increasingly for SFAP in scientific research during the last two decades (Everaerts, 2008), and the literature reflects the wide range for this type of platform. Most of the earlier works are based on remote-controlled basic model airplanes that are flown manually through visual contact, requiring an operator with considerable experience (e.g., Koo, 1993; Fouche and Booysen, 1994; Walker and de Vore, 1995; Quilter and Anderson, 2000; Hunt et al., 2005). One of the main problems with these platforms is the difficult assessment of the camera's field of view, making it nearly impossible for the operator to navigate the plane to an exact predefined location before triggering the camera. Addressing these complications, the powered paraglider described by Thamm and Judex (2006; see also below) is equipped with a live image transmission system, providing the instantaneous field of view to the operator in real time via goggles or laptop screen.

In recent years, off-the-shelf model airplanes are becoming progressively easier to fly as technical advances enable their upgrading with flight-stabilization systems, autonomous control systems, and GPS/INS (e.g., Hardin and Jackson, 2005; Espinar and Wiese, 2006; Jones et al., 2006; Grenzdorffer et al., 2008), thus making them more independent of continuous manual control and much more precise in following a predesigned flightpath.

Currently, helicopter-type UAVs—including the quad-rocopter, hexacopter, or octocopter varieties with four, six, or even eight rotors—are experiencing increased attention by researchers as well as by developers of aerial survey systems (e.g., Lambers et al., 2007; Achtelik, 2008; Eisen-beiss, 2008; Ascending Technologies, 2009; Berni et al., 2009; Rotomotion, 2009; ROTROB, 2009). Such flight devices have the advantage of being capable of hovering above a survey area rather than crossing it in flight. However, the larger ones that are capable of carring the weight of a compact or even SLR camera must be judged rather dangerous aircraft regarding the considerable chopper force exerted by the rotors (Wu, Zhang and Liu, 2008). The examples described in more detail below span the range from quite basic to rather elaborate drones for SFAP.

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