The Way forward for Drone Mapping with the DJI Phantom 4 RTK

Last week, DJI introduced its latest quadcopter for industry: the Phantom 4 RTK. This product marks a major investment by DJI in the future of aerial mapping, and we couldn’t be more excited about the impact it can have on our community of drone operators.

While DJI often releases new drone models every year, the Phantom four RTK isn’t your average drone. It’s an enormous leap forward and will undoubtedly have a significant impact on aerial mapping for years to come. Why? The advent of a quadcopter with built-in RTK capabilities means highly accurate drone information is now accessible to anyone. And we’re completely satisfied to announce that Phantom four RTK information could be processed with DroneDeploy.

Until now, gathering highly accurate RTK drone information required a large hardware investment on your part. You both had to shell out upwards of $25,000 for a fixed-wing drone with built-in RTK, add an additional PPK kit to an current drone in your fleet, or create a custom RTK quadcopter.

Now you can buy a drone that comes ready to supply survey-grade maps off the shelf at a 3X low cost to previous RTK systems. And it’s appropriate with the batteries and different equipment you already own along with your Phantom four or Phantom 4 Pro.

The Phantom four RTK produces high-resolution drone maps (howdy, 20MP sensor!) and 3D measurements which are accurate within a few centimeters — all without utilizing ground control factors (GCPs). We had been able to test the Phantom four RTK in advance of its release, and our preliminary testing produced accurate measurements within 1–3 centimeters in X&Y, and 5 centimeters in Z.

Not only will you collect more exact data, but your map exports from DroneDeploy will align completely to BIM fashions and different software. And once you examine maps over time, or side-by-side, each map will line up for more efficient comparisons. Why? Because every photo location taken with the Phantom 4 RTK is effectively an aerial GCP. That’s an enormous win for professionals evaluating job site progress, crops, or even measuring mixture stockpile volumes.

Before the Phantom 4 RTK, in case you wished to use a whole RTK mapping system out of the box, it required a fixed-wing aircraft. While these are great for some industrial uses, they are tough to maneuver and fly in urban and residential areas. If you want to examine a building or take a quick survey of your site, you’d have been hard-pressed to do so safely with fixed-wing craft. With the Phantom 4 RTK you’ll be able to take off, hover, and land on a busy development site with ease, or examine a roof in a residential neighborhood while avoiding trees and structures.