Glen from the International Association of Mission Aviation (IAMA) and Mission Safety International (MSI) approached ITEC to find a solution for remote airstrip mapping. In missionary aviation, outdated approach plates can lead to increase risk and even accidents. A team of student engineers from Messiah University stepped in to test a solution that could put an airstrip mapping solution in the hands of missionary pilots.
By purchasing a capable, commercially available DJI drone, an operator can load a flight plan over the airstrip. The drone will autonomously fly the flight pattern, using pin point GPS. The captured images are then stitched together to create a map.
Three outputs are given to the operator: The first is a 2D surface map much like what you see on Google Earth, then a digital surface model (DSM) that shows elevations through color grading, the third view is a 3D map that is great for visualizing obstructions.