UAVs are unmanned aerial vehicles. UAV combines aerial photogrammetry and LiDAR provides the possibility to acquire data in dangerous and hard-to-reach areas. This technology is very cost effective rather than hiring an aircraft with photogrammetry/LiDAR equipment. Remotely controlled UAVs are equipped with digital camera, laser scanner, an IMU system, and digital cameras that can generate high density point clouds and high resolution digital images.
Zmaps delivers many products for various applications through the use of UAV and airborne LiDAR technology. We decide the platform-UAV or airborne based on the scale and feasibility for mapping. Zmaps provide solutions in the following application areas:
Precision agriculture management demands precise and accurate information at a spatial scale that can provide information on the heterogeneity and crops responses which influence the production and economic return. Precision agricultural approaches can increase farming efficiency, augment profits, and decrease environmental impacts. UAVs based aerial survey is very useful for precision agrictulture, which can be utilized for determination of the biomass, crop growth and food quality, and to find out the degree of weeds for site specific herbicide applications. UAVs can be used for senescence monitoring of crops for harvest and logistic optimisation. Also UAVs can be applied for identifying local distribution of species and their morphology for agro-ecological purposes. UAVs can aid to map crop diseases that can help insurance companies to settle claims.
Conservation drones or eco-drones play an important role in ecology and wildlife research. The most frequent application is for monitoring previously inaccessible areas and for generating spatial data of the wildlife that lives there. Research community is slowly showing interest in utilizing UAVs for ecological research to monitor and to elucidate the impact of global change and to improve earth biodiversity system. Drones will play an essential role for automatic census of individuals.
Conventional techniques to collect samples from field and sent to an environmental laboratory are often expensive in environmental impact assessment studies. UAV mounted cell biosensor systems are highly sensitive and promising novel strategy for environmental monitoring of remote and unreachable locations. UAV mounted gas sensor system can be used to monitor pollutant gases such as CO2, CH4, N20, and NH3 gases that are responsible for climate change.
Gathering spatial information on damage situation of affected areas is an essential for disaster response management. UAVs can produce high-resolution aerial images that can be analyzed to generate hazard maps, 3D models, elevation models, and disaster area characteristics which allow us to coordinate rescue efforts, record building responses to the disaster, detect building failures, investigate access issues, and verify experimental disaster modeling. UAVs based survey data can be gathered before a disaster in order to file immediate pre-event conditions of critical facilities and infrastructure, and supervise vulnerable environmental concerns, and document historical conditions and sites.
In India, floods are the common type of natural disaster during monsoon season. Satellite based systems are incapable for real time monitoring of floods. UAV is able to detect the movement of floods in real time and could improve the effectiveness of the emergency response. UAV can capture water levels left against buildings. The combination of UAV surveys with flood propagation models allow us to prepare for and respond to flooding with more certainty. UAV can be used to map water flow and to manage drainage stream movements.
UAV based LiDAR can be powerful tool to estimate stand level estimates of biomass, canopy cover, leaf area index, tree height, diameter at breast height and canopy width. These variables are very important to estimate carbon stock that allows for proper forest carbon management to mitigate global climate change. UAVs offer an alternative cost-effective platform allowing for high resolution 3D data to be collected in forest environments. The following are the applications of UAVs in forestry: Animal and migration tracking, anti-poaching activities (identification, deterrence), soil property and moisture analysis, growth/coverage monitoring, species identification, fire detection & tracking and ecological modeling-habitat assessment and biodiversity.
The mining industry environment is very complex which makes mining and exploration companies to face challenge in accessing remote and unsafe topography. UAV based data collection allow to collect accurate spatial data that can extremely reduce risk for surveyors in mining by avoiding time spent in the field. UAV can be used for resource calculation and monitor slopes and mine walls, and track materials movement. UAV provides cheaper and safer ways to map deposit sites and minerals exploration via remote control. UAV can be used to survey disaster areas during and after events in mining operations.
India’s National River-Linking Project (NRLP) is a large-scale plan in India to link major rivers for the management of river resources. UAV borne LiDAR can be useful to plan water topologies by providing accurate topographic spatial data. UAV combined with thermal imaging capabilities allow to monitor soil moisture and decide irrigation needs and hydraulic modeling of rivers including wetland mapping. UAV is capable of delivering real time data to capture the dynamics of hydrological systems and to support watershed hydrology, eco-hydrology studies and catchment monitoring.
UAV based LiDAR data collection can greatly reduce time spent in field and produce highly accurate topographic data. UAV is very efficient as compared to conventional survey methods like terrestrial laser scanning and total station and also very useful for topographical surveying in hard-to-reach and dangerous environments. UAV based surveying can generate orthophotos, and x,y,z point clouds to generate accurate 3D surface models.
UAV photogrammetry and LiDAR can be very useful to generate accurate, detailed information and visual representation on buildings. UAV delivers high quality orthophotos, point clouds that can built 3D digital models which are useful for diverse applications ranging from emergency operations, urban planning, commercial, utilities, environmental. UAV based 3D digital models allows for the documentation of heritage environments in more accurate detail.
Utility companies require broad surveying and accurate measurements to plan new lines and maintain existing power line corridors. UAVs based data collection is useful to generate accurate data for corridor mapping, design and monitoring. UAV is capable of surveying in dangerous and hard-to-reach environments such as mountainous areas, forest environments for the construction of new power lines. Vegetation often affects power lines infrastructure and therefore demands for identification and removal. In this context, UAVs can offer automated, accurate and cost-effective solutions to assess the risk levels and guide the field workers for vegetation clearance along corridors infrastructure. UAVs can be greatly useful for power lines inspection for a long period.