A test was recently conducted at the River Ice Monitoring Test Site in Nenana, Alaska, to study the performance of drone mapping. The mapping data will be unified with DroneDeploy, and thermal and RGB data will be collected and processed every two weeks.
The subject of this test is Autel EVO II 640T RTK V3 and another leading UAV. EVO II 640T RTK V3 was led by the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).
Map a challenging environment
The proving ground in Nenana, Alaska presented several challenges to the mapping operation from the outset. Traditional surveying and mapping methods were inaccurate and ineffective for the region due to remote traffic and complex terrain covered by snow. The project required a solution that could efficiently capture high-resolution images while ensuring accurate results in harsh, cold environments.
The Autel EVO II 640T RTK V3 provided accurate, clear results for the surveying and mapping requirements of this project. Equipped with advanced features and cutting-edge technology, the drone has demonstrated excellent performance in challenging conditions.
The camera uses a high-resolution 50MP camera to produce stable results without any control points on the ground as a reference. Autel drone systems don't waste time either - with faster algorithms and components working together, Autel drones produce results faster than the competition.
During testing, several important findings were observed, showing that the Autel EVO II 640T performs significantly better than its competitors.
Its ability to correctly position itself down to the centimeter level (thanks to its RTK support) also ensures high accuracy, while Autel's Skylink 2.0 ensures that the drone gets the clearest possible image results when undertaking the mapping process.
Enhanced image quality and resolution
Compared to competing drones, the EVO II 640T offers significant improvements in image quality and resolution. Provides a higher resolution of 4096x3072, 96dpi, while competitors are able to produce 4056x3040, 72dpi results.
The Autel EVO II 640T offers greater flexibility unlike competitors which do not allow changes in flight speed during mission planning. Using the Enterprise app, Autel's drones not only have the ability to adjust flight speed, but also redirect waypoints and actions through pre-defined missions, and can be manually controlled as needed.
Performance at low temperature
In frigid Alaskan temperatures, competitors experienced battery failures that required manual intervention for landing and takeoff. In contrast, the Autel Evo II 640T demonstrated resilience and reliability in these conditions, and performed flawlessly even in the cold.
Accurate data processing and plotting results
A competitor's drone, when used in conjunction with DroneDeploy, resulted in incomplete data processing and mapping, as shown below:
The Autel EVO II 640T delivers comprehensive and impressive maps when processed with Pix4D. Slight color changes observed during the mission due to sunlight changes did not affect the quality or usefulness of the generated data.
Results and Prospects
The performance of the Autel EVO II 640T RTK V3 is significantly better than that of leading competitors in the same class of drones. The mapping test sparked great interest from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where the team recognized the potential of Autel drones for mapping projects related to climate change and the recent Typhoon Merbok in western Alaska.