On 11 November 2015, the PolyU UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Research Group of the Department of Mechanical Engineering was invited by a commercial company named Arup to show the latest UAV system’s application in map surveying.
Arup is an international services firm headquartered in London, UK. The company provides engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment and has participated in projects in over 160 countries. The Shenzhen branch of the company requires the 3D map about their future construction sites. They used to take quadrotors for this work. However, the flight endurance and range of the quadrotors are limited so that they need large amount of batteries and human power for this work.
The UAV Research Group has developed long range fixed wing UAV system which is very suitable for large scale mapping and surveying. The group is led by Professor Wen Chih-yung, Department of Mechanical Engineering and has won many prizes in Taiwan UAV competition. The system consists of fixed wing airplane platform, flight controller, 2D gimbal, high-definition camera, ground station, telemetry and video link. The UAV is able to fly 30 kilometers in 25 minutes while take video or pictures in the air.
The test was very successful. The UAV finished the pre-designed trajectory automatically and flight back to base safely in 20 minutes. After the test, the Planner from Arup was pleased with the performance of the PolyU UAV system as well as the result of the final map. “It is wonderful to have this opportunity to work on a relevant and in-demand project between Arup and academia. Through this project we can ensure that drone applications stay ahead of the curve with accurate data.” Expressed by Arup.