I need an advice to map 1300ha

Hi everyone,

I just got a work about a maping a highway project. The total section is 1300ha. I usually do small works like 5-10ha so i need advices. How can i handle this so big project?

Btw i’m using Inspire 1 and have 3 batteries.

Thank you in advance.

Are you restricted to 400 feet in your country? What is the desired resolution that you want on the project?

Currently we don’t have a restriction like this. They didn’t tell anything about the resolution yet. Can u show a sample for us?

Is that about 80 miles?
Are they looking at road grading data from this or just progress / general routing and possibly stockpile management? The Inspire isn’t up to grading data.
I’m not sure I’d even consider an Inspire for a project this big, but here’s how we’d do it:
Using 5 x 5700 mAh and an in-vehicle inverter to power the chargers. We use 2 chargers. Then we are able to charge batteries at the same rate we use them (although we need to leave engine running = fuel use, vehicle safety & security issues, etc.). We’ve used this technique to keep the Inspire in the air for approx 45 mins every hour for up to 8 hours. It’s motors and ESCs are NOT designed for this kind of abuse, so every time you land you need to check temperatures and might need to let it cool a bit. (Remember: the Inspire IS NOT a Pro platform)
Working from the back of the vehicle (in our case a go-anywhere 4x4) and remaining within our permissions (which you probably don’t have an issue with but for us are line of sight up to 500m / 400ft altitude) we can roll big sections fairly quickly. For our operations we have additional issues connected with our permissions such as additional safety requirements, changes to RTH operation procedures, observers, site security, etc.
At 120m we can cover an average 1 ha/min. Without some of the additional safety work you could double that pretty easily. I’d recommend practicing it, though, as you’ll lose loads of time to sloppy procedures. 3/4 of our mission time is safety / prep.
For photogrammetry purposes you want to try to get all local terrain in the same light / weather, so we generally fly each section in an up-and-back, up-and-back grid, and then move 1km up to the next section and repeat, although this varies according to the area you are trying to map. Obviously, the plan is to minimise turns but maximise quality and detail with as high overlap as you can squeeze. (In this scenario your forward overlap is most important.) This comes down to client specifications and commercial considerations. Obviously, if you don’t need that kind of ground resolution (5cm/pixel) or 3d pointcloud and you can fly higher you can map it almost as quickly as you can drive it. If you are using a wing, you CAN map it as quickly as you can drive it.
If you need accuracy on anything this big you are either going to need to use GCPs and post-process, giving the GCP data to the DroneDeploy support guys, or you are going to need a different platform with RTK-GPS.
Personally, I wouldn’t consider something like this with an Inspire. It’s not the right platform for many reasons. Even with the X5 I don’t think it’s right. You’d be much better off with a fixed wing like the ( @Maakusi ) AgEagle or Sensefly eBee RTK and potentially hire a base station (or post-adjust georeferencing data from local RTK stations). Even from the client’s point of view - what you charge and what a fixed-wing operator would charge would not be massively different, I expect. But if the fixed wing is running a 20MP+ camera and good lens and RTK GPS the results from the wing will be on another level. You could probably cover 1/3rd - 1/2 of the cost of such a platform on a job of this size. Maybe more because the wing is going to be much faster, more efficient and more economical.
Also, if you are much over 500ft it might actually work out better and cheaper for the client to hire a plane for an hour or two.
Horses for courses.


Thank you very much for your opinions. Today, i noticed that i understood the project wrongly. They want to establish an industrial region near of a new highway project. So they need the orthophoto map of this industrial region, not highway. I think it can be easier than highway because i don’t need to move along the highway for miles. I have 2 charger as you so i can charge my batteries qucikly. I gave my offer to the client today. I said that i can create this map with 5cm/px resolution in 1 week. I’m waiting for their answers now.
Btw I didn’t try continue mission of DroneDeploy before so i hope it works perfectly. Thank you again.

That’s a pretty impressive response Roger! You should chat with @iansmith about some of the stuff you’re doing to maybe do a case study/blog post about all this.

I absolutely agree with Roger on all points, especially on using another UAV for mapping purposes for large areas. In my business (SkyAerialSolutions.com) I use my Inspire 1 for specialty gigs, but the work horse is a 3D Robotics Iris+. My reasoning is strictly about cost in that it was acquired from Ebay for $450 brand new in box and the batts are standard 5100mah Lipos that costs around $30 each. The 8 batts were a little over $250 shipped.
The Iris+ handles the workload like a champ and I average about 120 acres on 8 batts which is roughly an hour of flying with batt changes. My setup is basic, an Iris+ with a Canon S100 on the belly held in place with 20lb.Velcro and it simply works well. I use Mission Planner and MapsMadeEasy for flight planning and photo processing again because they just work. The beauty of the setup is that even in wooded areas the Iris+ takes off and lands vertically so no issues with finding a place to land. With that said I’ve also built an FX-61 flying wing with pretty much the same setup as the Iris+, but with a better camera (Sony A6000 24MP) and it can do 500 plus acres with single 8000mah lipo.

For $5K I can build you the same tested, crisp setup! LoL! Seriously though don’t kill your Inspire 1 lifespan doing survey work when thee are muuuccchhh cheaper alternatives.

Thanks for your help too itsdrei. It’s not my main job, just got a request about this so i currently don’t want to buy another wing or heli. Btw i’m wondering if i make a 1300ha project on DroneDeploy and it can be seperated to 10-15. I need to do this partly because inspire can not finish the loop because the signal can lost at 500-600m and return home automatically.

@itsdrei Have you tried using our new Map Engine for processing maps shot with your Iris+?

naz_eg, I apologize for the delay, but what do you mean 'seperated to 10 -15"?

As for range issues that’s easy to fix(check the video below). Very simple to build and I’ve had my I1 out 2.5 miles with no signal degradation. I was out so far I got scared and turned it around! LoL!

Chasemgray, no I haven’t tried Map Engine, but I’ll give it try this weekend.

@itsdrei: I bought a DBS Extender for range problem but as you know there’re some problems with inspire lipo batteries. They drop to %5-10 suddenly. I’m scaring of this so i want my drone close to me.

I meant 130ha x 10missions, for example. We’ll create a 1300ha mission and there will be an option on DroneDeploy and we can slide them to parts.

The battery dropping to 5% should happen less if you make sure to charge the batteries to 100% before using them. If they have been sitting off the charger for more than 1/2 or full day you should make sure to charge it first.

Yeah i know but 2 weeks ago, i had a simular problem even i charged the battery before the fly. Suddenly the cell voltage dropped to 3.4v and got a red warning but after 2-3 sec., it’s fixed. So if you can put an option to divide missions, it will be more secure and easy for range and battery problems.