Pix4D: Mapper

pix4d logo.jpg 

Skycam is proud to be the New Zealand agent for Pix4: Mapper.  Click here for more information

Skycam has a number of sample photo datasets captured from the Swampfox UAS platform.  These datasets are available on request to parties interested in aerial mapping from a Skycam UAV.  Contact us for more information.

Getting value from imagery

A UAS is only as good as the data it returns.  Most of our customers are interested in using UAS to perform aerial mapping and survey operations.  The Hawk system is ideally suited for this task.

The UAS has been designed to make it easy to capture imagery.  Also Skycam has first hand experience that the autopilot is far superior to a pilot when it comes to holding height; speed; and flying in a straight line, especially in a crosswind.  So obtaining high-resolution images with a UAS is no trouble.  Also, ensuring you have completely covered the area of interest is easy since the GCS can display a terrain-aware footprint for every photo taken in a flight.


Terrain-aware camera footprint



Photo footprint history


But once you have these images, what do you do with them?  Skycam's UAS have also been designed with this in mind.  Everytime a photo is taken, the geo information is logged.  This log can easily and quickly be imported into the customers GIS software of choice and processed.

Photolog contents

For every photo the UAS records:

  • Photo number
  • UTC time
  • Slant range (distance between camera lens and ground intersect)
  • Position and attitude of the aircraft
  • The attitude of the camera
  • Location of the centre of the photo on the ground
  • Altitude above the ground in photo centre
  • Photo centre's altitude above sea level
  • Azimuth/bearing angle from aicraft to the photo centre across ground
  • Camera field of view
  • Depression angle (angle from the horrizontal down to the photo centre)
Photolog diagram


Queensland University's CMLR

Our Australian customers at Queensland University use the Pix4D software tool to realize 3D mosaics of the imagery taken from their Swampfox UAS See the video to the right for an animation showing one such mosaic (note that this mission was conducted without ground control points).  UQs mosaics typically cover 2-4 square kilometres and contain ~20GB of data.

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NIR mosaic
UQs results have been so good that even without ground control points they were able to quickly and easily geo-reference the imagery.  Below is a picture of the dayligt mosaic overlayed on a Google Earth map of the area



GE overlay

Click below to see the report output by Pix4D for this mission

pdf CMLR_Swampfox_RGBQuarry_report (0.49MB)

Most recently, they took imagery in the Australian Outback.  Here is an overlay from that misison (click for a larger version).

Australian Outback Mosaic


Auckland University of Technology

Our customres at the Auckland University of Technology use the more recent Pix4UAV software to handle their processing needs with great results.  The images below were a result ot their investigation into vegetaion stress.


Vegitation stress mosaic


nIR mosaic patch



Pix Output
This image is a direct output of Pix4UAV of a false colour image