Experts Tested 4 Different Drone Mapping Solutions for Crime Scene Investigation. Here’s What Happened.

Experts Tested 4 Different Drone Mapping Solutions for Crime Scene Investigation. Here’s What Happened.

At Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas, greater than 300 drone trade professionals watched as specialists examined 4 completely different drone mapping options for crime scene investigation at evening.

Guest submit by Douglas Spotted Eagle, Founder and Director of Educational Programming at Sundance Media Group.  DRONELIFE neither accepts nor makes fee for visitor posts.

Commercial UAV Expo introduced UAS professionals, builders, producers, first responders, and associated industries beneath one roof for the primary time in almost two years. Due to the pandemic, the present was much less attended than earlier years, but offered sturdy dwell demonstrations, evening flight, daytime seminars, panels, and case research for the comparatively giant viewers. There was a powerful buzz amongst the gang about being at an in-person occasion, and experiencing nose to nose communication for the primary time in lots of months.

In addition to the “Beyond the Cage” Live Drone Demo Day that launched Commercial UAV 2021, produced by Sundance Media Group, Wednesday evening offered attendees with a glimpse of the Crime Scene Investigator instruments perform in the dead of night hours. Sundance Media Group developed this technique a number of years in the past on the request of a legislation enforcement company and has been presenting this technique at academies, faculties, universities, and tradeshows since 2017, with quite a lot of plane together with DJI Mavic, Phantom 4, Yuneec H520, Skydio, and Autel EVO series (variations 1 and a pair of). All efficiently output knowledge, excepting Skydio, which struggles with brightly lit occasions in surrounding darkness.

Presented by FoxFury, Sundance Media Group, Autel, and Pix4D, this occasion additionally invited SkyeBrowse to take part within the demonstration, exhibiting the effectiveness and velocity of their software.

Testing Drone Mapping Solutions for Crime Scene Investigation: Setting the Scene

With a mannequin coated in moulage, mock slit throat, and blood path on the bottom, the demonstration started with the multi-vendor group led by Brady Reisch, Bryan Worthen of Kuker-Ranken, Todd Henderson and Patrick Harris of SMG,  and David Martel.  The group  positioned 4 FoxFury T56 lighting methods at particular, measured factors within the scene, supplemented by FoxFury NOW  lanterns and Rugo lighting to fill in holes and remove shadows.

Douglas Spotted Eagle of SMG and KukerRanken emcee’d the occasion by the 2 flights.

Douglas Spotted Eagle addresses the gang of 300 individuals

SkyeBrowse had the primary flight, with its one-button seize. Brady Reisch arrange the mission, with enter from the SkyeBrowse developer instructing the publicity ranges of the digital camera for the SkyeBrowse video mission. Once the mission was accomplished, the images have been uploaded to the SkyeBrowse web site, the place outcomes have been discovered roughly half-hour following the flight.

Brady Reisch of KukerRanken units up the Skybrowse mission with Bobby Ouyang of Skybrowse

The Autel EVO II Pro was programmed on-site for an automatic Skybrowse mission and the demonstration started. The space is extremely congested with palm bushes and buildings enclosing the small rotunda in entrance of the Mirage Hotel Convention Center.

Brady Reisch flew the second EVO II  mission manually, in a lot the identical configuration as if the plane had flown a double-grid mission, supplemented by high-altitude orbit, coupled with manually captured orbit and choose placements. Because of the gang, time was a consideration. In an precise murder scene, extra low-placed photographs would have been captured.

Brady Reisch screens time as Pix4DReact rapid-renders the scene (60 seconds)

The mission images have been uploaded to Pix4dReact on-scene and rendered whereas the viewers noticed, requiring roughly 60 seconds to output an ortho-rectified, 2D picture, full with proof markers/tags, and PDF supplemental report output. Also loaded have been the picture photographs into Pix4D and Leica Infinity software program packages, to be rendered for 3D viewing as soon as the present ground opened on Thursday. Pix4DReact is a two-dimensional, rapid-mapping resolution, so there isn’t any 3D view.

The 4 display captures inform the remainder of the story, and readers can decide for themselves what every software program is able to offering.  One focal point is that there have been many claims of “assured 1cm of precision no matter flight space,” which has but to be verified. The Kuker-Ranken team can be re-flying a mission with two separate GPS methods (Leica and Emlid) to confirm the claims of precision.

Precision is Repeatable

Precision is repeatable. Accuracy is the diploma of closeness to true worth. Precision is the diploma to which an instrument or course of will repeat the identical worth. In different phrases, accuracy is the diploma of veracity whereas precision is the diploma of reproducibility. With a base station, NTRIP, Spydernet, PPK, or RTK workflow, precision is all the time the purpose, well-beyond accuracy. This is a comparatively new dialogue in using unmanned plane, and though the subject appears easy sufficient, complexity holds challenges not simply dismissed by inexperience or missing training and apply.  We are lucky to have a companion in Kuker-Ranken, offering precision instruments to the survey, forensic, civil engineering, and AEC industries since 1928. The KR group contains PLS’, EIT, and different accredited precision professionals, not often discovered within the UAS trade.

Precision is vital for surveyors, civil engineers, forensic analysts and investigators, building websites, mapping, agriculture, and different verticals within the UAS trade, and this type of scene isn’t any exception. Being in a position to correctly place a map or mannequin right into a coordinate is important for a lot of skilled pilots within the UAV discipline, and whereas this mission isn’t exact to coordinate, it’s exact inside itself, or in different phrases, measurements can be correct within the picture, whereas being imprecise to the general location.

We’ll dive extra deeply into precision in a future article. For functions of this train, we’re extra all for accuracy of content material within the scene, and all 4 outputs have been related in accuracy inside the scene itself. In different phrases, distances, volumes, and angles could also be measured level to level. Pix4DReact isn’t as correct as the opposite three instruments, because it’s not supposed to be a deeply correct software given velocity of output.

Output Results of Drone Mapping Solutions

Output #1: SkyeBrowse (processing time, roughly 35 minutes)

Output #2: Pix4Dreact (processing time, roughly 1 minute)

drone mapping solution Pix4Dreact

Output #3: Pix4Dmapper (processing time, roughly 2.5 hours)

drone mapping solutions Pix4Dmapper

Output #4: Leica Infinity (processing time, roughly 2 hours, 50 minutes)

drone mapping solutions Leica Infinity

Agencies who would love entry to this knowledge are invited to contact Brady Reisch, VDC Specialist at Kuker-Ranken.

Douglas Spotted Eagle is the Founder and Director of Educational Programming at Sundance Media Group.  SMG serves as a guide inside the sUAS trade, providing coaching and talking engagements on sUAS subjects: UAV cinematography, industrial and infrastructural sUAS functions, sUAS threat administration, evening UAV flight, aerial safety methods, and 107 coaching.