Skeye - Volume Computations

Skeye specializes in the accurate measurement of stocks or mountains stored material using unmanned helicopters (drones). These are equipped with a 36Mp digital camera and geometrically calibrated to perform measurements. These measurements are based on the photogrammetric principle whereby terrain heights can be calculated in the overlapping portion of photographs taken from another point of view.

The Detail

his method gives the following advantages over traditional land survey methods: 

Safety: There is no need for people to climb the mountains to perform measurements;

 Quick: It is possible to measure up to 100 ha in one day;

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 Accurate: Under normal conditions, accuracy of 20 mm is achieved;

Complete: This method can yield up to 100 highlights per square meter, resulting in fuller and thus more reliable results;

Skeye has already carried out many projects on a wide variety of materials, ranging from coal, sand, ore, old iron to car tires.  

We can deliver the results of the measurements in different ways. This varies from a paper report with a stock of stocks and the calculated quantities to digital cards and 3D models of stocks. On average, half is needed to get a reliable result from the raw photos.

Prior to flights with the little drone, land checkpoints are placed in the vicinity of the storage bays. These are measured by using RTK GPS and are required to perform accurate calculations. In addition, Skeye always measures a number of verification points to show the quality of the calculations.

During the flight with the drone, photographs are made as part of an automated flight path.  The positions where the photos are made is chosen to create a certain overlap between the pictures.

The images are processed at the office using specialized software making a point cloud with height measurements. At least 10 points per square meter are generated, but this can soon rise to 100 points per square meter.

This point cloud is then checked by comparing it with the verification measurements included in the field. Hereby, the calculated height is compared to the measured height in the field by means of the GPS.

If the quality is shown, then the volume of the stockberg can be calculated by making a 3D model of the point cloud. Before the volumes are determined, it is important to be well-judged against which reference level the volumes must be measured. Is this a level of x meters above NAP or the stocks in a bin that have to be modeled.