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Do you know the foundations of UAV surveying?

Australian UAV educational provider, UAVAIR, has launched a specialised set of training programs for accredited unmanned aircraft pilots to perform aerial surveying. In partnership with Propeller, the two Australian startups aim to encourage organisations to save them time and money, reduce risk and acquire better data.

In recent years, UAVs (also known as RPAS or drones) have become so accessible that just about anybody can now collect high quality aerial data with ease. Where the challenge remains, however, is what to do with it once it’s collected.

Ordinarily, surveyors are required to ensure results are accurate and referenced to an appropriate datum or reference frame. While this is very much still the case, educational initiatives like UAVAIR’s aim to make this process much easier to navigate.

UAVAIR describes the new course, Foundations of Aerial Mapping, as “the most advanced and comprehensive professional UAV pilot training program in Australia.”

The two-day course was developed based on industry experience from the construction, mining, mapping and inspection disciplines with hundreds of hours of collective flying time.

In the course, students learn to map accurate data with drone technology, including the use of the new product from Propeller, AeroPoints. These are ground control points with built-in GPS to allow for simplified ground truthing and more accurate positional data. The course includes basic aerial survey theory, how to conduct surveys and using the Propeller cloud-based platform to perform processing, georeferencing, visualising and reporting.

Digital elevation model of farmland produced by Propeller. Source: Propeller Blog.

General Manager of UAVAIR, Ashley Cox, believes this is a game changing initiative not only for surveyors, but also for designers, engineers, drafters, town planners and architects.

“Businesses who implement this technology will benefit from increased efficiency and risk reduction by training their staff to conduct the ground work through drone operations,” he said.

To be eligible for the course, students are expected to be competent in RPA flight with a minimum of five hours logged, ideally having achieved RePL licensing, Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot – Visual Line of Sight) or having completed UAVAIR’s Flight Foundations course.

The course consists of two days of face-to-face classes and costs AU$1495. Students who have completed the Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot – Visual Line of Sight) with UAVAIR will be offered a discount.

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