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Development of an UAV-based system for location survey

Grant number: 19/23085-8
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: March 01, 2021 - November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences - Geodesy
Principal Investigator:Elton Neves Brandão
Grantee:Elton Neves Brandão
Host Company:Smart Drones Serviços e Consultoria em Cartografia Ltda
CNAE: Serviços de engenharia
City: São Paulo
Associated researchers:Henrique Cândido de Oliveira


Work in the civil engineering realm are an important share of the Brazilian economy, just like other nations such as the US and China. Before and after works in civil engineering, there is a need of staking and mapping services. Staking is a type of topographical or geodetic survey that aims to determine points on the terrain to represent a pre-planned project. It is defined as the realization of a project from the digital format to the real world (TULER e SARAIVA,2014; SILVA e SAGANTINE, 2015). Nowadays, the staking process is performed by traditional surveying methods (BORGES, 2013), using equipment such as total stations and their companions, or via satellite positioning techniques, especially the Real Time Kinematic (RTK) method, using GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) antennas and receivers (MONICO, 2008; WELLENHOF et al., 2008; TEUNISSEN e MONTENBRUCK, 2017). The two ways of performing a staking service can reach a centimeter-level precision. Advantages and disadvantages may also be identified depending on the characteristics of the project, such as: Equipment cost, time spent, manpower, line-of-sight between stakes, among others. Considering this context, this research and technological innovation project intends to create a system capable of staking construction related tasks with precision similar to the conventional methods. However, the technique to accomplish this task will be defined by the synergy between satellite positioning, sensor integration and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The methodology applied in this project is based on the planning and execution of an autonomous flight (with ground support, if required, for legal reasons), where an UAV will land and mark the ground for points-of-interest (i.e. staking points) according to a pre-planned construction project. In order to move this project forward, a UAV with RTK capabilities (DJI Phantom 4 RTK + base station), aerial platforms dedicated software (DJI Mobile Software Development Kit), and a pointing device (laser light) will be used. The goal of this project is to validate the concept of utilizing a laser guide from an UAV to find the staking points on the ground. In the future, when the commercialization phase arrives, a new marking device that doesn't depend on field work will be used (using either spray paint of flagging). The results of this proposal will be assessed in comparison with the afore mentioned conventional techniques. We expect that by the conclusion of this proposal, we will achieve the full development of a method capable of executing staking tasks with centimeter-level accuracy, that is also capable of being adapted for other similar tasks. This achievement will allow the creation of a plug-and-play device that may be commercialized and applied in several UAV platforms in the market today. This proposal, if accepted, will be carried on by a team of specialists in geomatics related fields, as well as sensor integration and the application of UAVs for mapping, as will be described in the appropriate section. The solution hereafter proposed, will promote the industrial development and increase the competitivity of Smart Drones, aiming always for a solution of significant impact on the topography and civil engineering markets. (AU)

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