The Future of Drone Mapping with the DJI Phantom four RTK

Last week, DJI announced its latest quadcopter for industry: the Phantom 4 RTK. This product marks a significant funding by DJI in the way forward for aerial mapping, and we couldn’t be more excited in regards to the impact it can have on our community of drone operators.

While DJI incessantly releases new drone models every year, the Phantom four RTK isn’t your average drone. It’s an enormous leap forward and can undoubtedly have a significant impact on aerial mapping for years to come. Why? The advent of a quadcopter with constructed-in RTK capabilities means highly accurate drone data is now accessible to anyone. And we’re blissful to announce that Phantom 4 RTK knowledge could be processed with DroneDeploy.

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

You can now purchase a drone that comes ready to produce survey-grade maps off the shelf at a 3X low cost to earlier RTK systems. And it’s suitable with the batteries and different equipment you already personal with your Phantom 4 or Phantom 4 Pro.

The Phantom 4 RTK produces high-decision drone maps (good day, 20MP sensor!) and 3D measurements which can be accurate within a few centimeters — all without using ground management points (GCPs). We have been able to test the Phantom 4 RTK in advance of its launch, and our preliminary testing produced accurate measurements within 1–3 centimeters in X&Y, and 5 centimeters in Z.

Not only will you gather more precise knowledge, however your map exports from DroneDeploy will align completely to BIM fashions and other software. And once you compare 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 four RTK is successfully an aerial GCP. That’s an enormous win for professionals comparing job site progress, crops, and even measuring mixture stockpile volumes.

Before the Phantom 4 RTK, if you wished to make use of a whole RTK mapping system out of the box, it required a fixed-wing aircraft. While these are nice for some industrial makes use of, they are tough to maneuver and fly in city and residential areas. If you wish to examine a building or take a fast survey of your site, you’d have been hard-pressed to do so safely with fixed-wing craft. With the Phantom four RTK you can take off, hover, and land on a busy development site with ease, or inspect a roof in a residential neighborhood while avoiding bushes and structures.