Best UAVs for M2 RTK

I am seeking to create orthomosaic maps of archaeological sites via UAV survey. I have two RS2s, so I would like to use the M2 to attach to a UAV for RTK, geotagged photogrammetry.

I am curious to receive recommendations for UAVs to use w/ the M2. Ideally a UAV under $5000.

Thank you for your guidance.

Just attaching the M2 isn’t going to get you the ability to get RTK values for the geotags. That involves writing to the images as they are shot as it would with a Phantom 4 RTK. Almost all retrofits are used with PPK and there is processing of the GPS logs and retagging of the images involved. How large are your sites? If there are areas that can be designated for GCP’s that you can keep somewhat undisturbed then I would forego the M2 and just use the RS2’s that you already have to set targets.

This is probably the cleanest kit for adding PPK.

We have used this one with the addition of an AShot which replaces the light sensor and the need for an external battery as they have shown. This captures the exact timing of the images for creating the events in the GPS logs.


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Hi Zachary,

Reach M2 needs PPK to calculate precise image center coordinates. To learn the PPK workflow we suggest, you may explore our PPK mapping guide.

If it is appropriate for you, you can connect the module to any drone’s camera with a hot shoe connector. It allows Reach M2 to collect a precise time mark for each photo. Please note that DJI is a proprietary system, and cameras on their drones don’t provide hot-shoe access. So, you can’t easily integrate Reach M2 with them.

As Michael said, it’s also possible to create an accurate orthophoto using GCPs. To learn more about GCPs collection with a pair of Reach RS2 devices, please explore our docs: Placing GCPs in RTK mode.

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I’m not sure of the price, but if I was in the market for a UAV I’d be seriously looking into the BaskAerospace Aerodrone MR4. It has all the same components I would put on a custom build but is RTF. They even have the option to include an Emlid M2 onboard.

specific for mapping and integrates emlid on-board receivers

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