Insitu, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company has announced it is approaching the theoretical limits of accuracy for photogrammetry through advancements in its High Accuracy Photogrammetry (HAP) capability.
In June, Insitu’s latest accuracy improvement prototype validated that its HAP onboard payload now is accurate to within five centimeters (cm) horizontally and 10cm vertically. This marked increase in accuracy is ground-breaking, and now leads the industry in accuracies that can be obtained without ground control from a fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) traveling more than 100km (62.1 miles) per hour from higher than 1,000 ft.
A HAP payload can include integration of either a Phase One 50 or 100-megapixel camera into UAS platforms for delivering HAP aerial imagery. The HAP capability is part of Insitu’s INEXA™ comprehensive suite of remote sensing products, information delivery services and solutions for enterprise customers, particularly those with mining, oil or gas operations.
In remote sensing, the Ground Sampling Distance (GSD) — in a digital photo of the ground from the air or space — is the distance between pixel centers measured on the ground. With recent improvements to the HAP payload, accuracies to within two-to-three pixels have been validated. For example, a 3cm GSD will result in the 3-Dimentional (3-D) global accuracy of 6-to-9cm.
The HAP payload is an easily scalable payload as it does not rely on ground control. On a ScanEagle® platform, greater than 150 square kilometers (nearly 60 square miles) can be covered in a flight with extraordinary accuracy. HAP is ideal for large area surveys required over open cut mining tenements, distributed oil and gas infrastructure, large-scale construction operations, road, rail and pipeline corridors and more.
Insitu’s HAP capability provides persistent monitoring and cost-effective inspection of critical assets, capturing the data needed to analyze asset condition. Utilizing HAP, customers optimize operations, and significantly reduce costs through eliminating the need for survey ground control points to achieve survey level accuracy.
The markedly increased positional accuracy derived from the HAP payload provides even better input into data analytics. In the mining industry, HAP will allow fast production of more accurate orthomosaics over a wide area, enabling precise volumetric and stockpile measurements.
In environments with bare earth and limited vegetation such as open pit mining or rail and road infrastructure mapping and monitoring, the HAP payload now is an alternative to Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), with the ability to produce imagery data as accurate as most LiDAR payloads, at a lower cost.
HAP also is available in a multi-spectral format which gives machine learning algorithms the information needed for automated asset inspection, including vegetation encroachment, standing water, infrastructure anomalies, and more.
“Insitu is geared to provide turnkey solutions in aerial data collection and remote sensing, and the increased HAP accuracy we have achieved is an exciting addition to our suite of solutions to drive efficiencies in our customers’ resource sector operations,” said Andrew Duggan, vice president, Insitu Commercial. “We are excited by the possibilities these innovations in aerial imagery will bring to our customers,” stated Duggan.
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