Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Mapping is the process of gathering highly detailed aerial images using a UAV (or drone) equipped with a downward facing camera. The images are then processed to form an orthomosaic map or 3D point cloud.
The data can be used for a variety of tasks such as the assessment of crop health, volumetric stockpile calculations, land measurements and elevation profiles.
Using UAVs in these types of applications became popular soon after the advent of camera drones, and has become a common practice ever since. There are several types of UAVs that can be used;
Quadcopters are easy to control and relatively inexpensive. The downside is that they have relatively limited range and therefor require many flights and good access to the terrain.
Fixed Wing UAVs
Fixed Wing UAVs have good endurance and can therefor map large areas in a single flight. They also provide better stability. The downside to fixed wing UAVs is that they are generally harder to operate and require a large area for takeoff or landing.
VTOL UAVs combine the advantages of quadcopters and fixed wings. They can takeoff and land in confined areas and do not require complicated mission planning because of this. They provide the same range as fixed wing UAVs and the control simplicity of quadcopter.