Three Aerial Imagery Sources: The What and When

There are three main aerial imagery sources. The modality depends on the coverage area, and required resolution: Satellite (Global), Crewed Aircraft (county, 3,000+ acres), and Drone: Fixed Wing (neighborhood, 100-3,000 acres) and Multirotor (1-100 acres). Satellite has the highest frequency of data collection and covers the greatest area, but is the least resolute. Crewed Aircraft flies at 1,000 feet to 10,000 feet and can carry big (expensive), upwards-of-500MP sensor arrays.

Drones are the most resolute and least-expensive-to-deploy solutions. While it’s possible to put a 100MP sensor on a drone, regulatory constraints will make having anything greater than 42MP inefficient because you’re drowning in data (with Part 107 400ft ceiling). In addition, without BVLOS approval, your coverage area is limited. It’s important to consider resolution, size of area, and acquisition cost when deciding which modality to use.

If you need to map a large area, or need advice on how to best collect, utilize and manage your large datasets, email or Contact Us for a free consultation.

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