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Propeller Aero and DJI join on PPK drone solution

October 30, 2018  - By

Propeller Aero, a cloud-based drone analytics company, is partnering with DJI to create the Propeller PPK Solution leveraging the DJI Phantom 4 RTK drone.

The solution provides customers in the civil, mining, aggregates and waste management industries with a reliable and fully integrated drone mapping system, helping them collect highly accurate data from any worksite without the challenges of traditional workflows, the companies said.

The DJI Phantom 4 gathers data at a construction site. (Photo: DJI)

The DJI Phantom 4 gathers data at a construction site. (Photo: DJI)

According to Propeller Aero, Propeller PPK Solution is a fully integrated software and hardware system that reliably provides photogrammetric model outputs in geodetic, projected or local coordinate systems.

The solution provides accuracy of 1/10 feet (3 cm) from independent checkpoints across small and large survey areas (checkpoints up to 1 km from GCPs). To capture surveys of this accuracy, all that is needed is one AeroPoint on the ground (over a known point if working in local coordinates).

The Propeller PPK Solution has been shown to reduce the time required to complete a drone survey by 70 percent as compared to a traditional workflow using multiple GCPs across a worksite, Propeller Aero said.

“DJI has led the drone market with their reliable and innovative products, and quickly demonstrated the ability for these machines to become useful tools in the heavy civil and natural resource industries,” said Rory San Miguel, CEO of Propeller Aero. “Globally, these industries are seeing real cost savings and efficiencies through cloud-based analytics and using innovative new technologies like PPK drones combined with AeroPoints. Accurate data is paramount to worksite analytics and Propeller has always been obsessed with helping teams achieve this. We introduced the world’s first smart ground control point, AeroPoints, and now we’ve partnered up with DJI to build an end-to-end PPK solution.”

On today’s construction sites, lack of project data costs businesses more than $177 billion annually. To help solve this problem, Propeller developed a tightly integrated PPK workflow across the DJI Phantom 4 RTK drone, an AeroPoint, and Propeller’s cloud processing platform that visualizes real-time site data. Surveyors and contractors can Propeller PPK solution to gather verifiable, trustworthy data to help make data-driven decisions and prevent costly mistakes, the companies added.

“Propeller’s deep expertise in aerial mapping and analytics coupled with DJI’s industry-leading open-platform drone hardware creates a highly accurate turnkey solution,” said Jan Gasparic, director of strategic partnerships at DJI. “We are excited about this partnership because it broadens the use of DJI drones to deliver accurate data at a cost-efficient price point, helping teams better answer questions about site progress and productivity.”

The complete PPK solution will be distributed through channel partners, including Trimble’s SITECH distribution network. Trimble Stratus, a 3D cloud-based visualization platform developed by Propeller, along with AeroPoints, is already integrated with Trimble Connected Site solutions.

“The advent of drones in the construction industry has improved efficiencies, and Trimble Stratus users are already benefiting from the ease-of-use and scalability of drone-based surveys,” said Scott Crozier, general manager, Trimble Civil Engineering and Construction. “With the new Propeller PPK Solution and Trimble Stratus software, we’ve seen first-hand how surveyors and contractors can collect aerial survey data in a fraction of the time it used to take, and get repeatable and reliable results.”