New PPK Software Released for DJI Phantom 4 RTK Drones

By Mike Ball / 29 Nov 2018

DJI Phantom 4 RTK drone

Klau Geomatics, a developer of PPK hardware and post-processing software, has announced the release of its new PPK software for the DJI Phantom 4 RTK unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The software enables professional users to achieve the most accurate and reliable results with their P4RTK drone without running it in RTK mode.

RTK requires continuous communication between the drone and base station, limiting the operational range and data quality. PPK does not require any real-time connection to the base. Not only does this save users the time and trouble of setting up a base station, but the data collected is complete, no losses due to communications links, and as it is post-processed the solution is more rigorous than a real time RTK result.

DJI’s Phantom 4 RTK requires at least 3 ground control points in the project area to achieve the best possible accuracy. The KlauPPK software offers users a proven, effective method to collect ground control points using just their drone, without any additional survey equipment, reducing the field time and operational cost of surveying control points.

For post-processing GPS data from P4 RTK drones, users need a base station rinex file from either a local GPS base station or CORS network. KlauPPK software has seamlessly integrated both free and commercial CORS data sources in most parts of the world. This enables users to process their PPK data without having to set up a base station or search for the right data.

The 3D Lever Arm Correction feature brings even more precision to the final computed results by correcting for the drone attitude (3 axis tilts). The 3D offset between the GPS antenna and the camera centre, or lever arm, changes as the drone tilts in different directions. The KlauPPK software accurately models this 3D offset to determine the exact camera centre position for each photo.

KlauPPK software converts the default WGS84 geographic coordinates from the DJI P4RTK to any published coordinate system and applies the geoid separation. Users can also add a new coordinate system and perform datum transformations. Surveyors in engineering, construction and mining can use their P4RTK drone and KlauPPK software to perform a site localization to calculate accurate camera positions in their local site frame of reference.
Computed high-accuracy camera positions with their horizontal and vertical accuracy values can be written to the image EXIF data, or to a text file with other survey report information. The accuracy values are applied in photogrammetry processing software to weight the results, again helping to achieve the best possible results.

“We’ve brought all of the survey smarts required into an easy to use package, enabling drone operators to produce reliable, accurate survey data without running additional technical software,” said Rob Klau, Director of Klau Geomatics.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact