Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) mapping.
Photos are acquired with a sUAS equipped with a programmable flight controller, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), compass, and camera. A mission is uploaded to the flight controller that uses a set of waypoints to fly a pattern with sufficient photo overlap for photogrammetric processing.
Ground Control Points (GCPs)
Ground Control Points are used to georeference the photogrammetry data to world coordinates. This is accomplished by placing targets on the ground that appear on the photos. The locations of the targets are recorded with an Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GNSS. The accuracy of the RTK GNSS is around 1 centimeter. The accuracy of the photogrametric data is dependent on resolution. Resolution being affected by the focal length of the camera and the altitude of the flight. In the U.S. max altitude is 400 feet. Typical resolutions between 1 to 4.5 centimeters.
Photogrammetry software is used to process the photos and GCPs to produce point clouds, 3D models, Digital Surface Models (DSMs), and ortho photos. This data can be used for measuring distance, area, and volume. It can also be exported for use with Computer-Aide Design (CAD) and Geographic Information System (GIS) software.