V-Map PPK System

The survey grade, dual frequency V-MAP GNSS PPK upgrade for the Aeromappers allow users to achieve up to 3cm of absolute accuracy with no Ground Control Points, substantially saving money and time. The system provides accurate camera positioning every time an image is captured.

The upgrade package consists of a geodetic grade 20Hz Dual Frequency L1/L2 GNSS receiver for post-processed kinematic correction of the UAV trajectory, determining the positions of the camera exposures at a rate of 20Hz.

The V-MAP PPK system is guaranteed to be a fully functional & complete solution for professional use. The system includes the GPS Post-Processing software, User Manual and Unlimited support.

The system comes with a 1 year warranty and unlimited personalized support. And GLONASS constellation addition is available upon request.

The upgrade package consists of a geodetic grade 20Hz Dual Frequency L1/L2 GNSS receiver for post-processed kinematic correction of the UAV trajectory. The system also includes a comprehensive ad step by step User Manual, GPS post-processing software and full support. The system provides very high precision camera positioning every time an image is captured.

V- MAP GNSS PPK system for Aeromappers:

The V-MAP PPK system is available for the following Aeromapper drones:

Aeromapper Talon

Aeromapper Talon Amphibious

Aeromapper 300

Aeromapper Talon Lite

Aeromapper Talon PPk

The V-MAP system is swappable with all other payloads available for the Aeromappers.

Use the V-MAP PPK system on the drone of your choice to determine accurate camera exposure positions automatically. After your flight, download the V-MAP PPK and reference observations (you can use your own GNSS receiver, a virtual reference station (VRS) or the V-MAP Base Station to obtain reference observations) and employ the easy to use CamPos software (provided with the system) to compute accurate image coordinates for input to your SfM workflow.

There is no need for communication links between the drone and the base station, making the ystem worry-free, reliable and very simple to use during operation of the drone.

V MAP OPTIONAL BASE STATION

Any dual frequency base station with an update rate of minimum 1Hz will work with the V-MAP PPK system if the output files can be converted to Rinex. However if you don’t have a base station the V-MAP Base Station is a fully compatible, plug-n-play, 20Hz, L1/L2 GNSS base station that can be used also for conventional surveys and GCPs validation.

Alternatively, you could use a GNSS positioning service or Virtual Reference Station (VRS) such as available in the States or in Canada. This service, for example, is offered by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and is called the Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) system (http://geodesy.noaa.gov/CORS/). It is recommended that this reference station not be more than 20km away as beyond that you will end up increasing the expected errors.v

V MAP Base Station close up

What’s included with the V-MAP Base Station:

  • V-MAP GNSS received with antenna
  • Rechargeable LiIon batteries
  • Battery charger
  • Survey tripod adapter and survey rod mounting hardware
  • Micro SD Card
  • Instructions, documentation and software resources

Required: survey pole and tripod

SYSTEM AS STAND ALONE:

 

The V-MAP system is platform independent, therefore can be easily and quickly installed on other drone models, either multirotor or fixed wing. From “do it yourself” drones to proprietary unmanned aerial vehicles, the V-MAP system weighing at only 120 grs (4.2oz) can turn off-the shelf multirotor drones into precise surveying tools with a few simple steps. Just mount the receiver, center the antenna above the camera, connect a compatible camera, provide 6 to 36V to the system, set up your base station, and fly your mission!

V map for other drones

Is my drone compatible?

To install the V-MAP PPK system your drone must be able to:

  • Lift a hot-shoe capable camera (like a Sony a6000)
  • Lift 120 grs of extra weight (this is the weight of the PPK board and antenna)
  • Provide 6V- 36V DC to the GNSS board (a BEC is provided with the kit)

The installation criteria for the PPK system on a stand-alone drone is very simple, as indicated below:

  • The GNSS antenna must be located aligned with the center of the camera lens (vertical distance between the two is irrelevant)
  • The PPK board needs to be at least 12cm away from other GPS receivers, to avoid interference.
The system is platform independent so its free of any compatibility issues between the flight controller of your drone and the PPK system. Just verify your drone fires the camera.

What’s included with the system:

 

  • V-MAP PPK receiver with Micro SD card
  • Antenna with 12’’ cable (longer cables available upon request)
  • BEC with one unterminated end
  • Hot shoe signal cable
  • Instructions, documentation and software

Why Choose V-Map solution

V-MAP Base Station on case

Benefits of  V-Map GNSS PPK System:

  • Complete solution: have your images ready for Pix4D or Agisoft at centimeter level accuracy, in just minutes after the flights.
  • Simple operation: no wireless links required between base station and GNSS receiver.
  • Swappable with other Aeromapper compatible payloads. Transferable to other Aeromappers.
  • Plug and Play approach: system requires no setup and is ready to use.
  • Available also as a stand-alone for installation into other UAVs.
  • The GPS post processing takes 10-15 mins per flight and is done fully automatically by the software provided, called “CamPos”.
  • Unlimited and Personalized support available.

FAQs Section

Is the PPk data compatible with Pix4D?

The post processing software will produce 2 CSV files (one with Photo Event, LAT LONG ELEVATION and another with Photo Event, LONG LAT ELEVATION) which can be edited to include the photo name, and a KML file which graphically displays the location of each camera exposure event. The latest version of CamPos (post processing software) has a geo-tagging feature which writes the precise position of each photograph to EXIF. The CSV files edited with PhotoName in place of Photo Event can be imported into Pix4D or Photoscan and used for the camera positions.

Does the V-MAP PPk have IMU board integrated?

The need for an IMU has been relatively minimized due to the SfM (Structure from Motion) processing methods employed by software such as Pix4D and Agisoft Photoscan. From our experiences, the only time where high accuracy orientation data becomes helpful/necessary is when processing aerial imagery using traditional photogrammetry. With precise camera exposure positions, SfM knows exactly where each image is in relation to the other and then determines the precise orientation by pixel matching (on average 40,000 points per overlap – Photoscan). This process produces far more reliable as well as accurate results when compared to an “affordable” IMU. Having orientation data prior to starting the SfM process only speeds up the initial photo alignment process which is one of the shortest processes in the entire workflow. The availability of IMU data does not mean that you will need less GCPs when using SfM.

Can GLONASS be added to the V-MAP PPK solution?

Yes, at an additional cost. From our experience though, it is not necessary to have GLONASS on your aerial unit as you will be operating far above any obstructions. In other words (and in all honesty), the gains you stand to achieve by employing GLONASS on your aerial unit are not necessarily worth the cost. Now, if you intend to use the V-MAP PPK receiver (Roving unit) as a terrestrial unit and in less than suitable GNSS reception environments, then GLONASS may come in handy. I would suggest you go with the GPS only version and if you deem it necessary for GLONASS we can always remotely activate this feature for you.

Will the V-MAP system work with my autopilot/flight controller?

Yes! V-MAP receiver is platform independent, which does not just mean that it can go from your fixed wing UAV to your Multi-rotor but also means that it operates independently of your flight controller. In fact, there is no connection between the V-MAP system and your flight controller unless you are using your flight controller to create events in the V-MAP log file. So, whether you are using an APM, Pixhawk, NAZA, WOOKONG, MICROPILOT, Mikrokopter, Microdrone, or any other flight controller, V-MAP will still work!

Is my camera compatible with the V-MAP system?

Please contact us and give us the brand and model of your camera that you would like to use with the V-MAP system. Certain cameras are compatible, and others are not. One thing to check for right away with your existing camera is whether or not it limits the shutter speed when you put a flash on the hot-shoe. If it does, your camera may still be compatible, but limiting the shutter speed will result in less than desirable photography.

What if the camera I want to use with the V-MAP system does not have a hot-shoe?

In this situation, we do have some hardware that you can include between the source for triggering your camera (autopilot or radio receiver) and your camera which will simultaneously send a pulse to the V-MAP system to mark the exposure at the same time as sending the exposure command to the camera. You will have to calculate for the latency between exposure command and actual exposure and then apply this correction to the event in the V-MAP data in order to get precise positions. Contact us if you have more questions here.

Does the V-MAP system write the GPS positions to the EXIF Headers of the images?

No, V-MAP is a post processing-based solution which means that until the V-MAP data has been processed, the GPS positions will be in the Stand Alone accuracy domain (3-5 Meters / 9-16ft). Once the V-MAP data has been post processed and the camera exposure events interpolated, the GPS positions can be written to the EXIF headers of your images.

Can I use the V-MAP System for Ground Based Surveys?

Absolutely! We provide special hardware that contains a battery (re-chargeable LiPo) that will allow you to mount your V-MAP unit as well as the camera to a Survey Rod. Please contact us for more information on this.

Since attitude information (roll, pitch, yaw) is not availble on the PPk system (geotagged images) how do we correct the imagery of any attitude errors because most softwares require that information for block adjustment (maybe except Pix4D Mapper)

Absolutely! We provide special hardware that contains a battery (re-chargeable LiPo) that will allow you to mount your V-MAP unit as well as the camera to a Survey Rod. Please contact us for more information on this.

PPK vs RTK

Our PPk system offers the same level of accuracy of an RTK system but with the following advantages:

Time spent in the office is the same as for RTK-only systems, as post-processing is also often necessary to get a precise position of the base station for RTK-based UAV systems.

PPK calculated information can be more accurate than RTK by making use of more precise orbital data and more sophisticated filtering and interpolation algorithms. Additionally, users can spend less time in the field as setting up a base station for logging only is less complex, and when using an internet source of base data, a base station is not even necessary.

For the same reason, our PPK system allow users to survey larger areas than an RTK system.

PPK systems do not depend on having a RF link between the GCS and the UAV in order to work. This leads to significant power and complexity savings since the UAV does not require additional data transmitters onboard, allowing the UAV to use its full payload potential.

Positioning information of the Base Station can be corrected during GPS post-processing (if using a base station instead of positioning service). This cannot be made in an RTK system.

Post processing of the positioning data is much simpler than that of an RTK.

And We Mean Full Solution

This upgrade consists of a geodetic grade 20Hz Dual Frequency L1/L2 GNSS receiver for post-processed kinematic correction of the UAV trajectory. The system is delivered ready to use with the UAV and includes a comprehensive step by step User Manual and GPS post-processing software. It provides very high precision camera positioning every time an image is captured, delivering your data sets ready for Pix4DMapper, Agisoft Photoscan or your image processing software of choice.