The Way forward for Drone Mapping with the DJI Phantom 4 RTK

Final week, DJI announced its latest quadcopter for business: the Phantom 4 RTK. This product marks a significant funding by DJI in the way forward for aerial mapping, and we couldn’t be more excited about the impact it’s going to have on our group of drone operators.

While DJI continuously releases new drone fashions annually, the Phantom four RTK isn’t your common drone. It’s an enormous leap forward and can undoubtedly have a significant impact on aerial mapping for years to come. Why? The advent of a quadcopter with built-in RTK capabilities means highly accurate drone knowledge is now accessible to anyone. And we’re joyful to announce that Phantom four RTK information might be processed with DroneDeploy.

Until now, gathering highly accurate RTK drone information required a big hardware investment in your part. You either had to shell out upwards of $25,000 for a fixed-wing drone with constructed-in RTK, add an additional PPK kit to an current drone in your fleet, or create a customized RTK quadcopter.

Now you can buy a drone that comes ready to provide survey-grade maps off the shelf at a 3X low cost to earlier RTK systems. And it is compatible with the batteries and different equipment you already personal together with your Phantom 4 or Phantom 4 Pro.

The Phantom 4 RTK produces high-decision drone maps (good day, 20MP sensor!) and 3D measurements that are accurate within a couple of centimeters — all without utilizing ground control points (GCPs). We have been able to test the Phantom four RTK in advance of its release, and our preliminary testing produced accurate measurements within 1–three centimeters in X&Y, and 5 centimeters in Z.

Not solely will you collect more precise data, but your map exports from DroneDeploy will align completely to BIM fashions and different software. And if you compare maps over time, or side-by-side, every map will line up for more efficient comparisons. Why? Because each photograph location taken with the Phantom four RTK is successfully an aerial GCP. That’s a huge win for pros comparing job site progress, crops, or even measuring aggregate stockpile volumes.

Earlier than the Phantom four RTK, in case you wanted to use a whole RTK mapping system out of the box, it required a fixed-wing aircraft. While these are great for some industrial makes use of, they’re difficult to maneuver and fly in urban and residential areas. If you wish to inspect a building or take a quick survey of your site, you’d have been hard-pressed to take action safely with fixed-wing craft. With the Phantom four RTK you’ll be able to take off, hover, and land on a busy construction site with ease, or inspect a roof in a residential neighborhood while avoiding timber and structures.