International Security Competence Centre, one of the technical partners in the TARGET project, has had a paper published in the International Journal of Latest Research in Engineering and Technology (IJLRET). The paper is entitled Swarm-technology for Large-area Photogrammetry Survey and Spatially Complex 3D Modelling . The full paper can be viewed by clicking on tis link: Publication_ IJLRET_ ISCC_Swarm drone.
The paper explains how the work done as part of TARGET using swarm technology represents a breakthrough in the creation of 3D models using drone-based photogrammetry. The traditional single-drone approach for modelling of large areas(area >5 km²) or spatially complex objects (e.g., buildings, infrastructures) requires long flight times and is frequently associated with variable light- and meteorological conditions during periods spanning several days. This is especially true for drone copters.
Drone Swarming is a relatively new field of robotics research. Swarm technology enables drones to perform as an intelligent group, interpreting what is happening in real-time and to self-organise. Using appropriate software, drones can ascend synchronously, communicate with each other and create cross-references. Drones flying in cooperation can create networks and transfer information. They can be used as mobile radio stations or WLAN transmitters in regions lacking infrastructure.
In TARGET, COTSdrones were evaluated and the drone DJI Mavic Pro (MP) was selected for optimal performance. Based on MP, the Photogrammetry Swarm Kit (PSK) was developed, offering considerable time and cost savings compared to the traditional single drone approach. The Photogrammetry Swarm Kit is comprised of five MP drones housed in a specially designed, portable container, together with a control unit and power supply and a ground control station.PSK uses WiFi communication and is adjusted to a Digital Elevation Model to ensure a precise flight. It offers three modes of data acquisition (Area Mode, Highlight Mode, Angle Mode).
PSK has been field-tested in the European Union and the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and received the DRONE HERO EUROPE Award 2018.