Fixed Wing Mapping

Hi - I've been looking for a fixed wing for mapping golf courses for some time now with the end result an interactive 3d model. I was considering Lehman Aviation, Ebee, Precision Hawk to name a few however their pricing point for a one man start-up is out of my reach.The full size UAV Maja and UAV Explorer for mapping seems to be a serious contender for the camera payload I'm looking to use upto 1000g either a single camera or multiple.I would like to get you opinion on something and that's taking Oblique images with a fixed wing. This is an area that seems to be a bone of contention for me when determining to go fixed wing over Multirotor.For the solution I'm looking for I will need to take a combination of Oblique and Ndair images in order to achieve a high resolution and detailed 3d model for use in an application.Ideally I would like to perform this inflight using a 2 axis gimbal e.g. 90ø, 70ø and then 45-30ø however I cannot seem to fine one on the market that can do this. I can mount a GoPro to the top of the fusalage to achieve this or I can fabricate a EPP casing in the fuselage to position the camera at the desired angles as I would like to use the same high resolution camera in the fuselage.Any ideas how this could be achieved as I have approach many suppliers of UAV fuselage however I keep getting fobbed off saying that they cannot help me as they only make fuselages !Regards,Warren

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  • Hi Warren

    responding to your points bottom up.

    It seems to be a very good idea to check it by a copter first.
    Would be nice to hear where you will end up.

    I did only fixed nadir mount. No experiences with gimbal or
    oblique mounts, sorry.

    I have a Skywalker 1900 (mm) and no X-8. Some time ago I read a
    long thread about the X-8 and they had handling issues like
    launch/landing and flight characteristics. Enough to be discussed
    by more than 3000 comments.

    I had a Bormatec plane and a friend of mine a Maja. The material
    has its pros and cons. Maybe a good operator can handle it. I was
    not experienced enough at that time. From what I've read on the
    Internet I'm not the only one.

    Wolfgang R.

  • Hi Wolfgang, thank-you for the response.

    Are you using a Slywalker X-8 ?

    Regarding the weight, I get your point. Franz Bormann at Bormatec said the Maja could accomadate upto 1000g single or multiple cameras. To capture the images I need at the various angles I was planning to use multiple cameras to cut down on flying time however it may be better to use one camera and change the angle at the after each completion of the grid plan.

    I'm not intending to go below tree level however upon reading different people's expierences mapping golf courses where there is tree line vegetation overhanging the fairway a more oblique angle is recommended.

    If you could recommend a decent supplier of mounts that could achieve the angles I'm looking for, that would be most welcome. For the time being I'm going to complete the proof of concept using a phantom 4 pro as this will give me all the data that I need to finalise the mapping procedure.


  • Hi Warren

    two comments which came into my mind.

    If you need 1000g for the cam payload this won't be cheap any more.
    My 190cm Skywalker lifts a 450g Sony and takes some 3000 pics in
    one hour flight. Beyond 500g you'll need another class of plane and
    maybe not possible to hand launch etc. If you can split the job
    to two planes it will be still a reasonable price.

    A second point is your oblique angle. Below 45 deg a nadir mount,
    suitable lenses and an according flight pattern should work. I do not
    get it why you need these extreme angles. Are you going below tree
    level? There you won't have a simple grid path I assume. A copter
    may be really an alternative then.

    just my 2ct
    Wolfgang R.

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