Basic questions - Aerial surveying

Hi all

First post, and I did try looking around elesewhere for the answers but I’ve got myself confused. I was hoping someone could help guide me on a quite broad query I have please.

So I’m looking to establish a bit of a sideline interest in aerial mapping. My current research has led me to considering an RTK capable drone (e.g Phantom 4 RTK) along with using an Emlid Reach RS2+ based system for recording GCPs. Now onto my query…

I understand aerial surveying using an RTK / PPK workflow can be undertaken using one of the following configurations in order of robustness / accuracy / control.

  1. RTK enabled drone only, RTK corrections via a 4G dongle connected to the controller.
  2. RTK enabled drone with a single Emlid Reach RS2+ - The Reach would be used for recording the GCPs and would need connecting to an RTK correction service.
  3. RTK enabled drone with a pair of Emlid Reach RS2+ - I understand this would alleviate the need for an RTK correction service however couldn’t find a description of how all the devices would be connected.

Have I understood the basic architectures correctly? Presumably option 3 is the most robust system?

Could someone provide an idiots guide on what the optimum hardware arrangement would be?



Welcome to our forum!

All listed options are indeed workable, you got everything correctly. I just want to add that the final setup depends on the budget and availability of NTRIP nearby. The Reach RS2+ device with NTRIP corrections and DJI RTK drone will work perfectly.

However, if you survey in remote areas, it’s essential to have a base and rover pair of devices to collect GCPs. Also, you’re right that the third configuration is more robust. You can be independent of NTRIP service and cell coverage. In that case you can obtain a point for the base station with PPP, collect GCPs in Stop&Go PPK with two Reach RS2+ and perform a flight in any place on the Earth.

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