NAVIO2 for survey UAV

Hello, I´m a high school student from Brazil really paixonated about science, technology and aviation. Recently I came across the use of using UAV for precison agriculture.
Then I research some local sites and see that the prices are very very high and the most proibhitive factor in the use of this kind of technology by small/medium farmers.
So i decided start my own project with a focus on low cost but still reasonble quality for data into softwares like Pix4D, the airframe (tailless style plane) is alredy accomplished the low cost with reability, but i now face great challenges with the controller.
And for that reason i came here for tips and ideas, when i first see NAVIO2 i think my problems maybe solved, a very precise GPS unit, a cost that fits in the budget and also what i believe to be the most easy and reliable plataform to integrate with cameras and get precise geotagging images. Is this assumptions correct? How do i Get started in terms of software? Anyone tried something similar?
PS: i know that the most adequate setup will use reach and probaly GCP, but i want to see if i can get geotag to work even with a bit less precision with the setup mentioned about, and how great will be that lose in final result???
Best regards
Lucas Colonna

Hi Lucas! We are using the NAVIO2 with various sensor platforms: Sony QX1 and a6000 RGB cameras (with camera triggering cable: Seagull #MAP2 - UAV / Drone Camera Trigger) and we also fly with FLIR Vue Pro and Parrot Sequoia sensors. I would suggest using some of the already tested airframes: Configuration Values for Common Airframes — Plane documentation but any other would work also. When using a plane have the corresponding airspeed sensor not just GPS for flight (especially important in windy situations). We also use reach with a6000 which greatly simplifies geotagging but its a bit complicated.

Thanks a lot for your input
On the setup using only the NAVIO2 GPS are you getting a good final result in Pix4D?
Again thanks very much and a wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR and a lot of awesome flights on 2017

Hi Lucas!
The final result without GCPs or RTK is not accurate for our purposes, but it really depends what is your application. We are surveying few kilometer long stretches of land and we could see some “barrel effect” when not using GCPs - i.e. the flat surface looks like a barrel after processing. For video animation purposes probably it would be fine, but for road construction it is not good.

Got it, thanks man
Do you very use it for agriculture survey?

Hi! We use the Sequoia for agriculture, which has a built-in GPS which is independent of the NAVIO or Reach.

Oh yes, that’s great but Sequoia are very expensive gear
Anyone else could share some experiences?
Best regards

I am a surveyor building a UAV to help with our Topo’s and large area surveys. I have the reach kit (base and rover) and have achieved great RTK results (1-2 CM after fix).
I plan on using a Sony NEX 5N camera and a remote trigger based on distance from last image.

For radios I’m using

  1. 915 MHz 3DR for RTK to connect UAV as Rover to Base,
  2. 2.4GHz for controlling the UAV
  3. 5.8GHz for Video/Camera


  1. If I build my UAV with with Navio2, Do I use the onboard GPS for Navigation or should/can I use Reach connected to the Base? if so how?
  2. How do I get the images correctly GEO Tagged?