• Latitude Aerospace Solutions


Have you ever imagined that drones can measure large amounts of mining material? Or that in turn could manage quarries and mining sites? Thanks to the drone technology, it can be achieved quickly and accurately. With the help of our WingQuad 3 we have carried out measurements and volume calculations projects obtaining highly accurate results.

1. Introduction

The Port of Esmeraldas is a seaport located in the city of Esmeraldas, on the northwestern coast of the Republic of Ecuador, which has direct access from the Pacific Ocean on the equator. It is because of its geographical location that this port is of great importance in the commercial flow of the area.

The main interest of this study focuses on the calculation of the volume of material piles, from high-resolution aerial photography using a VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) drone, the WingQuad 3; that has a fully electric propulsion and is made of an impact-resistant EPS with an internal carbon fiber structure and EPOfoam body.

For which UNACEM has contracted the services of the company LAS Latitude Aerospace Solutions, taking into account that the use of these geo technologies has become more common in recent years to gather information.

2. General Objective

Perform the calculation of the volume of material piles in the Emerald Port through the use of an unmanned aerial system with built-in high-resolution photographic equipment.

3. Specific Objectives

• Generate a cloud of points.

• Generate an orthomosaic.

• Generate a digital surface model.

• Generate a digital terrain model.

• Generate contours.

• Calculation of volume of material piles.

4. Methodology

Based on the provisions of UNACEM, a contract is established in the Port of Esmeraldas.

To carry out the aerial photogrammetric survey, as well as the information processing, the activities were divided into two stages: A field phase and a cabinet phase corresponding to the processing and calculation of volume.
The equipment used for the collection of information are the following: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles:
WingQuad3: It has a fully electric propulsion, it is made of an impact-resistant EPS with an internal carbon-fiber structure. Its design increases the effectiveness of the Pitch and Yaw control surfaces which also results in a higher vertical ascent rate which decreases the space needed for takeoffs and landings. Vertical takeoff and landing capability without a runway (VTOL). It allows to gather information of more than 150 hectares per flight, with a flight autonomy of 60 minutes.
On the other hand, flight planning was carried out in the LAS - UAVenture AirRails software, which is a software that allows us to plan in 3D as shown in the image below.

AirRails Ground Control Station

5. Results

An orthomosaic with a Ground Sample Distance of 2cm / pixel was obtained.
Puerto Esmeraldas Orthomosaic

Digital Terrain Model and Contour Lines

A Digital Terrain Model was obtained with a Ground Sample Distance of 10 cm / pixel, and contours generated at an interval of 0.5 meters.

Digital Surface Model

A Digital Terrain Model was obtained with a Ground Sample Distance of 2 cm / pixel.

Volume Calculation 1

Volume Calculation

The present volume was calculated from a base plane generated from the 12.42m level.

Results of the Volume Calculation

As can be seen, the result of the volume calculation is 54046.40 m3 +/- 319.88 m3.

Volume Calculation 2

This volume was calculated from the digital terrain relief model. That is to say by a triangulation made from the perimeter points generated in green.

Volume Calculation

Results of the Volume Calculation

As can be seen, the result of the volume calculation is 50346.87 m3 +/- 315.80 m3.

6. Conclusions

One of the most important variables when performing the volumetric calculation of materials is the base level that will be taken into account to generate the result since the amount of material that will be calculated depends on this value.

It was possible to determine that the calculation of volumes with the drone is highly accurate due to the level of detail of the results generated and the combination with fieldwork that contributes to the adjustment of the model.

By: Gabriela López

Geographical Engineer & Environmental Management

LAS Technical Coordinator & Sales Engineer

For more information visit: www.latitudeas.com

Email: mglopez2.las@gmail.com

Phone: +1 347 960 6444

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