San Francisco-based startup Skycatch develops and sells proprietary 3D reconstructions of construction sites as well as aerial site data analysis. It is the first company to ship an end-to-end RTK enabled drone-based site survey system in the form of a kit. The kit is automated and facilities Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) mapping, data processing, and drone analytics, which is currently being used at 10,000 constructions and mining sites by over 20 countries globally.
Skycatch’s kits are designed to target three areas, namely Data Analytics Package (DAP) for construction, High Precision Package (HPP) for mining, and Skycatch Vision Engine (SVE) for 3D data processing. The company has both cloud and local edge-based processing systems for data analysis.
Reconstruction with 3D
The company has several applications that provide specific data that help in providing the layout of the landscape and other data analysis needed in mining and construction. The Skycatch Vision Engine is a 3D reconstruction application that takes care of the photogrammetry process for mining and construction. This would help in providing information on the environment through images and patterns of the recorded radiant electromagnetic energy.
Meanwhile, the Skycatch Data Hub is an extendable cloud-based software for 3D measurements and accuracy reports. It can also be accessed through REST APIs into your own or any third-party application and can be exported or shared. The company also uses its proprietary aerial software called SkySync to retrieve data.
Skycatch works with Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) and Post Processed Kinematic (PPK)-enabled drones. The difference between the two is that RTK corrects the site data during the flight and PPK corrects the data on the cloud after the flight. The base station for the RTK-PPK drones is called EDGE1, which also works as a GPU that does photogrammetric processing. The system helps build projects quickly without having to worry about overshooting the budget, helping its user calculate the risks involved in the project before investing in it.
Founder and CEO of Skycatch Christian Sanz shared the company’s plans in improving the technology to create “higher, faster, more reliable server-grade data for mining and construction”. Sanz further shared that the company has been developing their analytics tool since 2013 and is “projecting about $60 million of ROI in terms of survey data in the next three years.”
Kit for the field
The Skycatch Explore1 and DJI Phantom 4 RTK drones provide data with high accuracy and are RTK-enabled. While both have high endurance against harsh environments, the difference between the two is that the DJI Phantom is equipped with obstacle avoidance while Explore1 has dual-camera capabilities and can capture 4,000 images in 140 minutes.
Another essential component of the kit is the Skycatch Edge1, the Edge Computing and Smart GNSS processing unit powered by NVIDIA TX2 and GNSS receiver chips. NVIDIA TX2 provides On-The-Edge computing and processes maps and point clouds within 30 minutes. While the GNSS receiver supports signals from GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, and Galileo and provides a centimeter-level accuracy globally.
The data gathered through these Skycatch products can be easily imported into your workflow, so you can look after the progress and monitor the risks. All these products together help alleviate the difficulties in physically measuring a construction or mining site. For now, their services can be availed of by contacting the company through the website. They also provide a demo for interested parties.
YouTube: High Precision Package for Mining