Asian Surveying & Mapping
Breaking News
Ministry Announces Third Phase of Space Program
The Ministry of Science and Technology yesterday announced plans...
Brexit In Orbit: UK Space Industry Added 3,400 Jobs In Two Years In Spite Of Uncertainty
The UK’s space sector has seen significant growth in...
Aero India 2019: Airbus to demonstrate fuel efficient aircraft and new generation tactical airlifter C295
Airbus has planned one of its biggest-ever participation at...
Airbus Invests $28.2 Million in German Aerospace Site
Airbus is expanding its aerospace activities at its site...
Euro Group Builds Portal to Support Geospatial Open Data
Not-for-profit organisation EuroGraphics – which represents official bodies including...
Chile Weighs Commercial Replacement for Lone Spy Satellite
WASHINGTON — As the Chilean Air Force looks to replace...
Map Wars: Japan-US Carmakers Join to Counter Google and China
TOKYO -- A Japanese map platform developer funded by...
Indonesia Opens Satellite Image Data to Public
North Nias Marine and Fisheries Agency head Sabar Jaya...
Russian Space Corporation Confirms Readiness to Launch EgyptSat-A February 21, Says Source
MOSCOW - Specialists of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos...
Images Suggest Iran Launched Satellite Despite US Criticism
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Iran appears to...

April 27th, 2018
Internationally Acclaimed Universities Praise Latvia-Developed Drone Software UgC

Riga, Latvia – April 27, 2018 – Such internationally acclaimed research centres and universities as Stanford University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Aurora Research Institute have studied, tested, and used in their work the drone control software UgCS (Unmanned Ground Control Software), developed by Latvian company SPH Engineering. The software was used to study coral reefs, snow depth, and species diversity as drone flights could be pre-planned and adapted to highly specific requirements of each research project. The cooperation partners of SPH Engineering have a high opinion of UgCS, emphasizing the stability and irreplaceability of the software.


At Stanford University in the United States, UgCS is used in education. Under the supervision of Professor of Earth Sciences Robert B Dunbar, the Latvian software has so far been used at two locations employing DJI Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro+. Preprogramed missions were flown to teach the students about mission design, autonomous flight and imaging control, that is suitable for repeat data collection. Pre-planned drone flight missions using UgCS helped students learn more about and monitor coral reef ecology and health. A specific data processing software was then used to produce 3D point cloud and textured models of the reef.


“We have found that in clear water, the drone imagery can resolve individual coral branches and bathymetry down to depths of 5-8 meters so it is quite a useful tool. The advantage of using pre-planned and saved missions in UgCS is the opportunity to fly repeat missions that can be used to establish trajectories of change on shallow coral reef tracts,” explains Professor Dunbar.


Aurora Research Institute in Canada has successfully used UgCS with DJI Phantom 4 and Inspire 1 Pro drones to capture photogrammetric data of snow fall and detect snow depth variations at temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius.


Aurora Research Institute’s web application and database developer Eric Cheyne says that, during the summer of 2017, the institute travelled to the northwest end of Banks Island, a remote location without internet or telephone access, to test several apps with photogrammetric software. “These applications failed to complete preset mission. The apps suffered software issues, required further updates, internet access, and constant troubleshooting,” explains Cheyne. However, the institute was able to setup pre-planned missions with UgCS before arriving at the remote location, and complete multiple missions without any need for internet access, troubleshooting, or software issues. “It simply worked,” Cheyne says laconically.


In the meantime, Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States uses UgCS software to, for instance, create a flight plan that keeps the drone a certain distance off rooftops and always perpendicular to the roof it faces. “We have written Python and Matlab scripts to generate the XML that we then import into UgCS, upload to the platform, and then execute these custom missions,” says Professor Carl Salvaggio from Rochester Institute of Technology. He describes the UgCS code as “invaluable”.


Over the past two years, SPH Engineering has signed 103 cooperation agreements with different universities and colleges in 30 countries, where students are also taught to pilot drones and use different research methodologies. The education partners use UgCS software in practical research as well as in planning and flying different drone missions.




About SPH Engineering / UgCS

SPH Engineering offers unmanned systems integration services: building, acquiring and consulting on the selection of airframes, autopilots, payloads for a particular application and performing proof of concept projects and software development. UgCS is a complete platform developed by SPH Engineering to plan and fly drone survey missions. Automated drone mission planning, built-in photogrammetry and geotagging tools, map customisation and battery exchange option for long routes make UgCS an effective solution for professional applications. UgCS is unified mission planner for all popular UAV platforms to control and monitor one or multiple drones on a single mission, in multi operator mode or multi-platform environment for Command centres. UgCS DDC enables to manage drone swarms, e.g., for drone light shows. For more information, visit: