First legal authorization of mapKITE operations:  application to coastal erosion monitoring in the project HYCOS

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One of the major drawbacks regarding the adoption of drone technology for professional applications has been -and still is- the lack of an homogeneous regulatory framework. The result is a rather conservative operations framework, in which new, ice-breaking drone applications are lessened. So far, mapKITE has not been an exception to this rule, as it has been also questioned in relation to its fit within the upcoming regulatory framework.

Yet, a big milestone has been achieved to overcome this issue: the first authorization by a civil aviation authority has been granted for mapKITE operations, paving the way for the adoption of mapKITE by professional users in the mapping community. The Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) granted a permission to execute mapKITE operations to Octocam, a Barcelona-based company partnering with GeoNumerics in mapKITE, given the compliance of their aerial platform and procedures with French categorization (scenario S1, category E).

Successful closure of the Horizon 2020 COREGAL project

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On 8-9 June 2017, the final review meeting of the project was held at the European GNSS Agency (GSA) headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic. With this event the final milestone has been reached, successfully closing the project. During the meeting, the consortium members, from seven different countries presented the latest developments and results on each unit of the system as well as on the integration level of the technologies involved.

The objective of the project was to generate a first of a kind combined Position+Reflectometry (P+R) Galileo receiver to use it as the main sensor for platform positioning and biomass estimation, the latter using reflected Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals (also called GNSS-R) that propagate through tree canopies, branches and leafs. The Galileo constellation play a key role due to the low noise level of the E5 AltBOC pseudorange signal. GeoNumerics' contribution was to investigate and develop state-of-the-art positioning and orientation algorithms as well as their implementation. For this purpose, GeoNumerics used the platform GENA, and further developed the platform NEXA and the model toolbox dynamicSURVEY.

Kick-off of the HYCOS project, co-coordinated by GeoNumerics: an application of mapKITE to coastal monitoring

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On 25th of January 2018, GeoNumerics will join the French company GEOSAT in Bordeaux, France, to trigger the activities within the project HYCOS, an acronym for Hybrid Coastal Surveying. The goal of HYCOS is to establish a service for monitoring, accurately and frequently, the evolution of the coastline based on a cross-sectorial approach: the combination of free satellite imagery data with topographic LiDAR surveys with Mobile Mapping Systems (MMS) and drone-based aerial photogrammetry. These three mapping techniques are versatile (available satellites, MMS mounted on quad, and easy-to-operate drones) and together they enable surveys to be carried out at least twice a year in order to analyse physical phenomenon related to seasonal changes as well as the impacts of sporadic, high-intensity storms. The proposed multi-resolution imaging approach will produce accurate 3D geo-spatial data of the monitored coast, at a high resolution (drone imagery reaches millimetre-level ground resolution), high density (LiDAR reach around one million of measurements per second) and with large coverage (satellite imagery covers hundreds of kilometers of terrain footprint per image).

Successful closure of the Horizon 2020 mapKITE project

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GeoNumerics is proud to announce the successful completion of the H2020 project “mapKITE: EGNOS-GPS/GALILEO-based high-resolution terrestrial-aerial sensing system” on April, 26th, 2017. On that day, the final review meeting was held at the European GNSS Agency (GSA) headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic, in which the project consortium explained the last results and experiences from the latest test campaign, and the administrative aspects of the project were closed.

The first objective of mapKITE project was to build a mature EGNSS enabled prototype of a novel tandem terrestrial-aerial mapping system based on a terrestrial vehicle (TV) and on an unmanned aircraft (UA), both equipped with remote sensing payloads. The final product is high resolution, oriented, calibrated and integrated images of a corridor and its environment. The second objective was to demonstrate services; i.e., the technical/commercial feasibility of the concept. And finally, the third objective is to develop the market including contracts or negotiations in place so the prototype can be used in operational conditions.