UAV as Aerial Mapping & GIS platform

Continuing from my last post and hunting down the ever ending dream for "more" Skiptrovamon took a new form. This time our team goals was to keep the good things from our first airframe and..:

-Step on Known PIDs

-Make more room for cameras and FPV gear

-increase lift and decrease wing loading

-Follow DIYDRONES hardware update

-More movement-servo accuracy

-More endurance

-Eliminate image post processing


The results: 

At the current state you see this model on the below pictures, the wingspan is 2 meters and the weight is 700 gramms (24,5 ounches). Front fuselage is built up by styrofoam sheets , "boom" is built with balsa using some styrofoam frames, tail system is also styro sheets with small reinforcements and the wing is made out of white 25 Kg/cub.m. EPS foam reinforced of course as needed. The wing is also folding in the middle for easy transporation...




like Skiptrovamon I, our next model is sheeted with 1mm carbon fiber: 




-As you can see is much like a 2 meter skywalker, so ready made PIDs both for APM1 and APM2 work great.

-with 4s 2600mah we achieved 40 minutes flight time. 

-All up weight is 2,1 kg, incl. Cameras, APM, and FPV gear witch means it has less than 40gr/sdm wing loading!!

-Super steady even with 12,5m/s wind gusts

- 17km/h Stall speed!

- New digital high tourqe servos, consume less Amps (1,2a) and  give super precise movement

- APM will keep us up to date for a time

- Mission Planner wms and georeference tool, provides us a 20cm accurasy for calculations and stiching methods.Also i can export our results to both world or local Datum. 10000 thanks Michael. 

- For first time we can use geniuses like Penman for Spatial focal or even global computations instead of local.



-Even if its steady, and noise free, camera is triggered with a 9gr servo and without stabilization we have two issues:

A. Computer rutines must compute Omega Phi Kappa, witch means we need a powerfull ground station and expensive software like Erdas

B. everything described to this wonderfull post  and all the comments on wiki

-Manually i can bind image acquisition with log files but as i mentioned before, a text file with pitch, roll, yaw, baro and Nmea from the click moment  could make orthorectification completely auto. maybe a guide to transform log files to excel sheets could help

- Please someone clarify on the wiki if we can use our old GPS with APM2, beacause everything is inside fuselage now


Thank everyone working to this community for making dreams happen



I attach a setup senario for APM2  and iam waiting any comments if you spot some errors or suggetions to improve it. electrosetup.pdf

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  • hello James,

    how did you manage to upload the photos taken to ARCGIS ? 

    can you explain? 


  • T3

    hi eduardo,  the 4s 2600 battery is just for size comparison in the foto, i fly with a 3s 5000 nanotech bat.  and with that i can achieve 40 mins with ease, cruise speed 30-40kph

  • wow ... 40minutes with 1x 2600mha 4s battery ? what wind speed ?

    I never get more than 30 minutes using 8000mha on my 2.2m flywing on 8m/s wind.

  • T3

    Hi Willem, nice to meet you

    There are many ways to stitch images (pix4D, Microsoft ICE, Erdas imagine tools, ArcGIS tools). For the images above, i used the most painfull way- because its a vinyard- and i wanted seemless image and perfect accurasy:

    -I rough geoferenced every image seperatly on ArcGIS using my logs and simple home made routine,

    -then i updated georeference for each one using ground control points dropping rms to 2.55cm! ,

    -then using the raster processing tools i made a mosaic,

    - finaly using a 4m DEM, from our cadastral agency, i ortho-corrected the hole mosaic.

    i made the same for both nir images and RGB images,  then again using raster prossesing ArcGIS tools i used composite bands.

    Next enhancements: apply  a lens error filter to every captured image, also calculate NIR 8bit scaling Vs Solar radiation in order to compare places and captured images 

    All these seems like a lot of work, but if you use a powerfull GIS soft (many opensource are equally powerful), you can create routines and once you do it, you can repeat you work for another site in seconds.

    I hope i help'd 


  • Hi James,

    I am on a engineering co-op in Canada at the moment and we are just starting to do NDVI. How did you stitch these images? Will Pix4D be able to do it? Also, did you process the NDVI images before stitching them, or did you create a big geotiff of the area for bor RGB and NIR and then do the NDVI "post-rectifying"?

    Much Appreciated,


  • T3

    And NDVI analysis of the area:


  • T3

    good morning, your are welcome,

    Basicaly 100 +2 propellors during tests :)

    ΑPC E (from 11-5.5 to 9-6 ) Style are more efficent but with more noise and drag, Folding are a little less efficient  in thrust but help gliding a lot..

    Here is an orthophoto- pseudocolor from G, B, NIR (15cm Resolution) From modified a canon ixus 100is: 


  • Hi James,

    Thanks for the answers,

    Can you tell me are you using two propellors?

  • T3


  • T3

    some photos


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