By Ashlee Hornbuckle
I have been tasked with keeping a secret over the past few months—which is sometimes difficult for me, as I have trouble remembering what has been told in confidence. However, Lewis told me a secret so big, I almost blabbed for the mere fact of how utterly exciting it is. Are you ready for it?
AirGon has developed a direct geopositioning Post-Process Kinematic (PPK) system for the DJI series Inspire 2 and Phantom 4 Pro drones!
Dubbed LOKI, this PPK system is a third generation AirGon design that uses the latest Septentrio GNSS engine, the AsteRx-m2. The m2 is a triple band GNSS engine, supporting NAVSTAR GPS L1/L2/L5 and GLONASS L1/L2/L3 and sporting 448 hardware channels. The GeoCue engineers tell me this is the most advanced UAS class receiver on the market today.
LOKI is self-contained and uses an internal battery (charged via a USB port). It has been designed to survive most crashes and easily can be moved to a new, replacement drone. LOKI interfaces to the DJI series drones by simply plugging a personality cable into the DJI drone SD card slot, making it a user installable “plug and play” system. We use a patent-pending set of hardware and firmware algorithms to figure out when the camera is triggered. Should users elect to use a higher end drone with a DSLR camera, the LOKI system can be moved by simply using a DLSR personality cable.
LOKI provides a huge advantage over using drones without RTK/PPK. Without direct geopositioning, dense ground control is required to achieve the accuracy necessary to calculate differential earth works volumes and to create 2’ (60 cm) or closer contours. This can be extremely time consuming and sometimes a safety issue. In fact, on some sites ground control cannot be placed due to restrictions to site access. However, joined with the BYOD Mapping Kit and a base station, users can expect around ⅛ foot horizontal and ¼ foot vertical accuracies with no ground control placement.
The system is scheduled for release in late July/early August. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on LOKI and the BYOD Mapping Kit.