Why fly with a drone when you can do the same measurement more accurately, faster and cheaper with an aeroplane? Discover how Kavel 10 has utilized a Tecnam P2006T SMP...
Kavel 10, a company which specialises in surveying, has developed a new technique to map areas with the help of lidar and photogrammetry.
The aircraft, a Tecnam P2006T in Special Mission Platform (SMP) configuration, delivered just few weeks ago from Italy already summed several flight hours. PH-KIO, flies over the Netherlands on a weekly basis. The plane is owned by Kavel 10 and takes photos and lidar images of, for example building sites, river banks, cities, dykes, and sand depots. It used the latest techniques that allow the company to map The Netherlands from the air.
The use of lidar has significant benefits, says co-owner Richard Brouwer.
“This technology measures millions of unique laser pulses on the ground surface," Brouwer notes. "The link with GPS and an IMU intertial unit, and orientation parameters, ensures an accuracy of 15 millimetres."
According to the company, another advantage of flying is the speed that surveys can be carried out and also that there are fewer restrictions. “In the Netherlands you still have large no-fly zones where you cannot fly with a drone, for example along high-voltage cables, along roads and above natural and military areas,” said Brouwer. “That doesn’t apply to a manned aeroplane.”
Flying allows you to cover a larger area, and it is faster. “With a drone you always have to use two people and you can only finish one small area at a time,” said Brouwer. “The plane scans a strip of 250 meters in one flight line,” he added.
Using Airborne LIDAR
Flying small projects with lidar is unique in the Netherlands, says the company. “We are the first to do that from a manned aeroplane, and have multiple projects every week. Substantial investments had to be made for the equipment. At first we only flew with cameras, but we wanted to do better. That fits with our business philosophy that we are always looking for the best method to map the environment.
We now have a lot of work for local governments, quasi-governmental organisations, and contractors to make digital terrain models.
Kavel 10 has also received other assignments from this work, such as a survey of the flood defences along a river. The contract was put out to tender and the contractor wanted to identify from the pictures exactly where reinforcements were needed.
“The idea was to do that with a drone, but it was a stretch of more than 100 kilometers and with areas that are sometimes difficult to reach. So it would take weeks to do that. We could do that by plane in one day.”
Another possibility that lidar offers is measuring a site and then converting the data into a digital model for the contractor. This offers great possibilities, said Brouwer, because the terrain has been determined very precisely in advance, it is possible calculate the contractor sharply on the amount of land that must be invoked.
Using Oblique Cameras
Another new technique that Kavel 10 is using is their oblique camera with multiple lenses. This allows the company to take images in four directions at once at 45-degree angles.
This technique is very interesting and is used for making 3D city models, because it allows you to capture data on sites that are not covered with the nadir camera. When combining this with the LIDAR system, Kavel 10 can gather valuable data for municipals and other governmental organisations.
The aircraft: Tecnam P2006T Special Mission Platform
The ideal platform for so many different types of missions was recognized in the Italian twin engine. The Tecnam P2006T SMP’s high-wing and retractable landing gear allows for a ‘no view obstruction’ for external cameras and operator FoV (Field of View).
The high wing keeps two economical engines completely cleared from dust and any foreign object that could damage the propellers and the engine through the air intakes. The option to use automotive fuel (MOGAS) as well as AVGAS allows Tecnam P2006T to dramatically reduce direct costs, making it possible to fly in areas where AvGas is difficult to find or prohibitively expensive.
The key success of this solution is mainly related to the high quality/price ratio and the many possibilities according to the needs of the final user/operator, as the many sales Tecnam is doing worldwide.
Kavel 10 Summary
Kavel 10 is a relative young company owned by three brothers and a brotherin-law. At the moment we employ a total of 12 employees. We operate in different markets such as government, construction, waterboards and the oil and gas industry.