November 15, 2012; The Pinery Project
In a collaboration between DroneMapper, Falcon UAV, CompassData, Inc. and The Pinery Country Club we collectively demonstrated accurate geo-spatial mapping (in 3 dimensions) of a reasonably large area using affordable technology - UAV, consumer camera and ground control. First, a little bit about our partners:
Falcon UAV is a small unmanned aircraft designed to provide live aerial reconnaisance and airborne sensor capabilities to those who require a military grade system at a fraction of the cost. Capable of providing over an hour of endurance, day or night, the system provides public safety communites, research organizations, academia, and industry a professional hand launched UAV solution at an affordable price. For more information please visit - http://www.falcon-uav.com/
CompassData, Inc. provides the world's largest commercially available ground control data set - complete global coverage with 18,000 ground control points available for download. For more information please visit - http://compassdatainc.com/
The Pinery Country Club offers as one of its amenities a private 27 hole golf course in Parker, Colorado. Management at the Pinery was very gracious in allowing us to collect imagery over their property. In addition, the property contained 15 precision (5 or 30 cm absolute position) ground control points that were used for data processing and accuracy quality verifications. For more information please visit - http://www.thepinerycc.com/club/scripts/home/home.asp
This ortho shows the Pinery CC area of interest and the ground control that was mapped by Falcon in a 1 hour flyover. The area covered was approximately 3.4 Km^2 @ 13 cm GSD. (6.7cm GSD available as full result)
Falcon being hand launched.
Typical ground control point being surveyed.
Pinery ortho detail.
3 digital elevation models (example shown above) were constructed using 1) only camera GPS tags, 2) only Falcon flight log GPS tags and 3) 6 ground control points. For cases 1) and 2) all 15 GCPs were used for accuracy evaluation. In case 3) 9 GCPs were used for QA evaluation. The table below shows the Root Mean Square Error in meters and the Circular Error at a probability of 90% for each of the 3 cases.
RMSE X (m)
RMSE Y (m)
RMSE Z (m)
1 - Camera Tags
2 - Falcon Tags
3 - 6 GCP
The full accuracy reports from CompassData, Inc. are downloadable below:
Camera Tags - CompassDataInc_FalconUAV_DroneMapper_PineryCanonGPS13cmUTM13N.pdf
Falcon Tags - CompassDataInc_FalconUAV_DroneMapper_PineryFalconGPS13cmUTM13N.pdf
GCP - CompassDataInc_FalconUAV_DroneMapper-PineryGCP13cmUTM13N.pdf