Reach/Piksi

Hi

Is there anybody that had any success with the Reach or Piksi GPS system? We want to eliminate the requirements of Ground Control Points when doing Aerial Topographical Surveying.

Regards

Michael

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  • I bought an EMLID Reach Kit. Here is my experience so far.

    • Integration with Pixhawk is good. It does require some configuration and understanding how the system and differential positioning works. It took me a lot of reading through the forum and around a week.
    • Antenna positioning and the use of correct ground planes is key! Test it many times until you find the set-up with best coverage.
    • After that, it seems that connection through telemetry radio is not very reliable (the corrections have dropouts, which does not permit to obtain a stable RTK FIX). I have experienced this, and read about a lot of people with the same issue. Nobody found a definitive answer to this.
    • Correction link through Wifi works great, I am using this approach currently (because the project in which I am working allows it). Since the drone does not fly very far away from the GCS, I can establish a wifi network.
    • In my current set-up, I am not able to obtain a stable fix every time. Most of the time it is lost after take-off and never recovered. I am working on it, might be an issue with the wifi network (too long distance between base, router and rover.
    • The Forum is fairly active, so doubts and problems can be solved by other users or Emlid workers.
    • The developers seem to be still improving the solution, because I have gone through at least 3 updates of the SW. So I guess there is still margin for improvement.

    In conclusion, the technology looks great. When it works, its impressive (centimetre level accuracy). But there are many difficulties along the way. I still have not been able to solve all of them at the same time to have a reliable and stable solution every time. I am using it professionally, and still cannot rely on it. I am working on it though, I have hope!

    I would love to hear the experience from other users of Reach or Piksi!

  • Hi  Michael,

    Were you able to test the C94-M8P boards (with the M8P chip)?, I'm wondering if I can connect those boards to Pixhawk for RTK

    Michael Papenhagen said:

    Hi Beryl

    Thank you very much for clearing that up for me.

    We are in the process of building up an Aerial Surveying Company, which is hard work and expensive and it pi...s me off when Companies advertise products which they know do not work as they advertise. After some research we will probably settle for either the V-Map (very expensive!) or maybe the M8P from Ublox. What other systems have you looked at?

    @Clancey: You can use either Pix4D or Photoscan to process your photos, but they are not cheap. There is a new Company in Germany that have also developed software to process Aerial Photos which is much cheaper...their cost is around 550 euros, but the program is still in beta stage. One function that I like in the software is whereby your Photos are automatically linked with the on-board GPS positions, which could eliminate the requirements for Ground Control Points, if the GPS is accurate enough. That is why we are looking for a Base\Rover system which is relative in-expensive and that works.

    You don't really need a Gimbal for Aerial Surveying, but it will mean that you have to take more Photos and also increase the area that you are going to fly outside the actual area that you need to survey.

    Regards

    Michael

  • Hi Michael.

    I have purchased Reach.  It gets a lock maybe 1% of the time while stationary.   Not practical at all for any sort of uav / rover.  Quite disappointing with false advertising.  I even used survey grade antennas and corrections from a commercial rtk correction service. 

    I posted my results on the Emlid reach wik and no one could better them.  If anyone out there has used Reach on anything that moves for real time rtk PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG!!

    • Hi Beryl

      Thank you very much for clearing that up for me.

      We are in the process of building up an Aerial Surveying Company, which is hard work and expensive and it pi...s me off when Companies advertise products which they know do not work as they advertise. After some research we will probably settle for either the V-Map (very expensive!) or maybe the M8P from Ublox. What other systems have you looked at?

      @Clancey: You can use either Pix4D or Photoscan to process your photos, but they are not cheap. There is a new Company in Germany that have also developed software to process Aerial Photos which is much cheaper...their cost is around 550 euros, but the program is still in beta stage. One function that I like in the software is whereby your Photos are automatically linked with the on-board GPS positions, which could eliminate the requirements for Ground Control Points, if the GPS is accurate enough. That is why we are looking for a Base\Rover system which is relative in-expensive and that works.

      You don't really need a Gimbal for Aerial Surveying, but it will mean that you have to take more Photos and also increase the area that you are going to fly outside the actual area that you need to survey.

      Regards

      Michael

      • Glad I could help.

        There's a very good reason why there are no demonstration videos on Emlid's site or Youtube of a roving Reach - No one has done it yet.   Not saying the algorithms in rtklib can't be improved or whatever but it's rubbish right now.

        This guy has some success with the Piksi :

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1vfBs5plDE&feature=iv&src_...

        As for the Ublox M8P - The Reach uses an m8T.  Both use gps and glonass concurrently.  So it will come down to the algorithms used to calculate rtk as to whether the internal rtk of the M8P is any good. 

        I'd be interested to know.

        There are plenty of oem gnss boards out there - none with any demonstration data.   So when it comes to the seeing is believing (as I have become after the Reach) I don't know which are any good.

        My brother does some elevation mapping with a Leica - also expensive.

        My advice would be to go for a unit that is multi-frequency GPS L1 and L2 etc etc - the more signals to perform calculations with the better.

  • Hello All, I have successfully installed the Swift navigation Piksi system to an aerial system "800CM Hexacopter that will fly for up to 27 minutes, I want to know how others are using Piksis it in the world of multi copter Drones/UAS's, I want to see if I can't get some help, and help others who are wanting to use Piksis for something more then just GPS position hold with Pixhalk, I want to be able use my Drone for offering a mapping land surveying service like Michael Papenhagen is?, I understand that software that takes and overlays/stitches the photos together is not cheap, but want to know if there are cheaper alternatives in other words more cost effective ways, I work for a company called D&C inspection services located in Seabrook Texas, the owner of the company started the aerial inspection division about two years ago, We have many different types of UAS's. We have all our aircrafts registered with FAA we also have our COA 333 exemption, so we are legal to operate them I have been out on a good number of jobs. I want to try and use this craft for aerial mapping, land surveying, so I still need a camera and have started looking and found a List of cameras that can use the CHDK firmware that when used with an RC switch can be triggered by the Pixhalk Flight controller. I suspose I need to start looking into a camera mounting system, Is a gimbal needed for this setup?

    thanks Clancey Aggen

    List of cameras supporting a raw format
    Still cameras The following digital cameras allow photos to be taken and saved in at least one raw image format. Some cameras support more than one,…
  • Any help please?

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