Ground Control Solution

Survey control is an essential part of the modelling process, and especially so when generating 3D assets from the Elios 2 internal inspection and survey drone.

In order to accurately link a 3D model to the correct location, and in most cases tie in with existing topographic data, the incorporation of ground control points is crucial.

A recent culvert survey required sensitive placement of ground control markers. The team needed to access the site with the lightest possible kit bag, and also leave as close to zero footprint from our operations as possible. Usually, we would place markers in the flight zone and then lift these at the end of operations.

On this occasion data-gathering was carried out over two days, so the installed solution needed to be semi-permanent to provide sufficient – and crucially consistent – control near the culvert entrance and exit.

To solve the problem, the UAV 365 team prepared a target stencil for use with semi-permanent survey marker paint. This allowed for an accurate target which was also able to be seen by the drone and translated to the 3D model. The target could also be installed by applying a very small amount of paint to the site. This paint will naturally wash off over the next month, but by reducing the amount applied the short term impact was kept to a minimum. The team are actively exploring solutions to reduce the persistence period further.

The target result can be seen in the image below.

3D printed ground control point held in the hand, with a stream in the background and a spray painted marker outline shown.

Share the Solution

If you would like to use this stencil in your own work, and you have access to a 3D printer, the STL file can be downloaded by tapping the button below. The page will open in a new tab and allow download from there. Any issues feel free to get in touch.

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