GeoCue Group Inc. announced a new GNSS positioning system that will allow users of DJI Phantom 4 Pros and Inspire 2 drones (as well as most drones using higher end cameras) to achieve survey-level accuracy with a minimum of ground control.
Loki, the new direct geopositioning system for small unmanned aerial systems, solves the two fundamental problems associated with this technology:
- Positioning Accuracy – Loki uses the new AsteRx-m2 multi-frequency, multi-constellation GNSS engine from Septentrio.
- Camera Events – GeoCue has invented a patent-pending method of detecting camera events from Phantoms/Inspires and synchronizing those events to GNSS positioning.
Loki is a self-contained kit that provides all of the hardware and software needed to equip your drone with a Post-Processed Kinematic (PPK) multifrequency, multi-constellation, differential, carrier-phase Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS). Using a local base station (not included), Loki provides centimeter level positioning with minimal, and in some cases, no ground control points (though GCPs are always recommended for quality assurance).
“GeoCue has been a long time Septentrio OEM development partner,” said Neil Vancans, Vice President of Septentrio Americas. “They have offered our previous generation sUAS board on their high-end AV-900, achieving remarkable results in both accuracy and reliability. By solving the problem of connecting the virtual camera trigger on DJI drones to our AsteRx-m2 GNSS engine, they can achieve professional mapping accuracies with consumer-grade UAVs.”
DroneDeploy of San Francisco has become the leader in cloud-based processing for DJI (as well as other) drones. They have enabled users of Phantom and Inspire drones to easily upload drone images, work on-line with analytics, and download point clouds and orthophotos to desktops for advanced processing. Without Loki, achieving acceptable network accuracy requires the time-consuming placement of ground control targets throughout the mapping site. GeoCue and DroneDeploy have been working together to ensure a smooth Loki-DroneDeploy workflow from field to finish.
“The GeoCue Loki system is an exciting product for anyone using drones to make maps with high accuracy," says Mike Winn, CEO and co-founder of DroneDeploy. “The Loki’s combination of high-end GNSS positioning and DJI camera synchronization enables survey-grade accuracy with the simplest workflow that we’ve seen— making the Loki a great fit for the DroneDeploy platform."
“I am very excited to be working with industry leaders such as DroneDeploy on our Loki project,” says Lewis Graham, President and CTO of GeoCue Group. “Loki provides high accuracy positional data to downstream processing solutions. More significantly, it does this for DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2 drones. Combining DJI, Loki and cloud processing solutions such as DroneDeploy provides a very streamlined and cost effective solution for high accuracy site surveys.”
The Loki kit includes:
- Loki PPK Controller using the Septentrio AsteRx-m2 GNSS engine (GPS L1, L2, L5 and GLONASS L1, L2, L3, 448 hardware channels).
- Maxtena M1227HCT-A2-SMA high performance, active, multiband GNSS antenna
- Antenna ground plane with mounting kit
- Antenna to controller cable
- USB cable for data transfer and Loki controller charging
- Personality cable (user selects either DJI or DSLR)
- AirGon ASP software suite
- Mounting kits for DJI Inspire 2 and Phantom 4 Pro
- 1 year of maintenance and technical support
Loki requires a local multifrequency base station (not included but available from GeoCue).