The Way forward for Drone Mapping with the DJI Phantom four RTK

Final week, DJI introduced its latest quadcopter for trade: the Phantom four RTK. This product marks a serious funding by DJI in the future of aerial mapping, and we couldn’t be more excited about the impact it’ll have on our neighborhood of drone operators.

While DJI frequently releases new drone models each year, the Phantom four RTK isn’t your common drone. It’s an enormous leap forward and will undoubtedly have a significant impact on aerial mapping for years to come. Why? The advent of a quadcopter with built-in RTK capabilities means highly accurate drone information is now accessible to anyone. And we’re completely satisfied to announce that Phantom four RTK information will be processed with DroneDeploy.

Till now, gathering highly accurate RTK drone data required a big hardware investment in your part. You both had to shell out upwards of $25,000 for a fixed-wing drone with constructed-in RTK, add an additional PPK kit to an current drone in your fleet, or create a custom RTK quadcopter.

Now you can buy a drone that comes ready to provide survey-grade maps off the shelf at a 3X low cost to earlier RTK systems. And it’s compatible with the batteries and different equipment you already own with your Phantom four or Phantom four Pro.

The Phantom four RTK produces high-decision drone maps (hiya, 20MP sensor!) and 3D measurements which might be accurate within a few centimeters — all with out using ground control factors (GCPs). We were able to test the Phantom four RTK in advance of its release, and our preliminary testing produced accurate measurements within 1–three centimeters in X&Y, and 5 centimeters in Z.

Not only will you gather more exact information, but your map exports from DroneDeploy will align perfectly to BIM models and other software. And once you examine maps over time, or side-by-side, every map will line up for more environment friendly comparisons. Why? Because each photograph location taken with the Phantom four RTK is effectively an aerial GCP. That’s an enormous win for pros comparing job site progress, crops, and even measuring combination stockpile volumes.

Before the Phantom four RTK, should you wanted to use a whole RTK mapping system out of the box, it required a fixed-wing aircraft. While these are great for some industrial makes use of, they are troublesome to maneuver and fly in city and residential areas. If you want to examine a building or take a fast survey of your site, you’d have been hard-pressed to do so safely with fixed-wing craft. With the Phantom four RTK you’ll be able to take off, hover, and land on a busy development site with ease, or examine a roof in a residential neighborhood while avoiding bushes and structures.