Ordnance Survey to launch mapping drone
Mapping organisation Ordnance Survey plans to launch a solar-powered drone to seize upper high quality pictures of the Earth.
Its Astigan craft will fly upper than industrial airliners at 67,000 feet (20,400m), and may just circle the Earth for 90 days earlier than it wishes to land.
It will acquire pictures and knowledge for companies and organisations to use.
It hopes to launch “fully operational high-altitude tests” of the craft earlier than the top of 2019.
Ordnance Survey owns 51% of Astigan, which is primarily based in Bridgwater, Somerset.
It operates from the similar manufacturing facility that after housed Facebook’s Aquila web drone undertaking.
The house changed into to be had after Facebook deserted its drone plans, and the corporate says there’s in a different way no hyperlink between the 2 drone tasks.
Ordnance Survey informed the BBC that the present mapping satellites orbiting the Earth can not supply sufficient excessive answer element for its maps.
Its Astigan drone is a high-altitude pseudo satellite tv for pc. Rather than circling the planet, it’s going to be managed from the bottom and despatched to map huge spaces of hobby.
“Our current mapping capabilities are driven by two efforts,” defined Neil Ackroyd, appearing leader govt of Ordnance Survey.
“One is the usage of fixed-wing plane to take footage for our revision programme. Then we have now our box surveyors at the flooring, supported by means of information from native government and the land registry.
“What the Astigan undertaking does is offers us the potential of the usage of plane, however sooner and at considerably lower price.”
The cameras the Astigan craft will lift will probably be equivalent to the ones on mapping plane. Ordnance Survey stated it will no longer be imaginable to establish other folks at the pictures.
“It’s laborious to see other folks vertically, as you’ll be able to best see the highest of other folks’s heads,” stated Mr Ackroyd.
The drone will probably be used to acquire pictures and knowledge to be used in industrial and business programs, so the photographs are not likely to display up on products and services similar to Google Maps or Bing.
As smartly as mapping the United Kingdom, Ordnance Survey plans to be offering mapping products and services to nations that in a different way fight to have the funds for them as a result of the price or their huge geography.
The platform can be made to be had to corporations who need to connect their very own sensors and cameras, for instance to monitor local weather exchange.