Unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs) or drones are a key data collection platform for my PhD research. They enable me to rapidly acquire huge amounts of high-resolution topographic data at survey grade quality in combination with GNSS techniques.
Projects currently utilise commercially available UAVs such as the DJI Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro, with processing using Agisoft Photoscan, Blender, Cloud Compare and Meshlabs. Models are constrained and possessed using GNSS data from the Emlid Reach RS GNSS system and available RINEX data.
Current UAV projects include repeatability and resolution tests, Dead Ice topography mapping combining UAV derived DTM models with geophysical and intrusive datasets such as trial pits and boreholes.