The DROTAG.x is an updated version of the earlier DROTAG which is a small board (71x28mm) that enables your camera to Trigger and GeoReference pictures in ther air! The DROTAG connects to an APM compatible Flight Controller (like Pixhawk) through any available TELEMETRY port and through a MicroUSB cable to the camera. That’s it. Nothing more is needed. With the appropriate mission planning you will have your captured pictures automatically geotagged by DROTAG in the Camera’s card at the time you land, with no need for any post-processing. For further information download the >manual here.<
What about the cameras?
At this moment the number of cameras we tested is limited, consisting of just the Sony Alpha Series. The reason is that this is one of the most widely used cameras for Aerial Photography and a camera we recommend based on our great results.
“Psst, GoPros are light and all the rage!” – Why are Photographic Cameras better for mapping?
Very simply: camera settings and bigger image sensors.
With a GoPro or similar when you take a picture you have no control over the camera settings like Exposure, Shutter Time, ISO values etc, not to talk about distortion. The lack of control over this settings will make each picture unpredictably different from one another.
Pictures with different settings over a flight make the stitching process result in worse mosaics. Another mapping product which will have a worse quality is the 3D image meshes generated from aerial pictures. This is due to fact that the algorithms that match image overlaps, have a difficulty doing so if the images of the same point in space “look” different in different pictures.
Bigger and better sensors combined with correct settings will give you true Pixel per cm measurements, because the pixel truly represents what is being imaged at that point. Worse sensors and wrong settings will most likely give you high resolution noise which is actually useless information.
What happens if the camera misses a picture. Is it all gone and out of sync?
No! With DROTAxG we guarantee you that if the first picture is correctly taken then all others are also. Thanks to our special algorithms you will never need to manually tag a picture again because the camera lost sync with the logs. Peace of mind for your 1000 picture set.
External Flash Hotshoe for camera feedback for compatible cameras
One of the improvements we already made available to our clients is that the DROTAG now includes a hot shoe board which sits in the external flash plug of your camera. With a camera which supports external flash you can have your mission plan trigger pictures as fast as you like and have them correctly Geo-Referenced when you land. Another advantage is that you can be sure the positioning that gets into your pictures corresponds to the exact microsecond instant your camera’s shutter opened. Never worry again about flight speed!
- Microsecond precise Geo-referentiation
- Trigger period as fast as your camera can write a pictures to the card.
Sony cameras supported by DROTAG which have hotshoe feedback capability are:
- Sony Alpha 6000
- Sony A7
- Sony RX100 *II* (be aware not all RX100 have hotshoe socket)
As some of our customers will tell you, Airborne Projects stands behind it’s projects continued development and refinement based on customer feedback. Continuing this trend, we designed the system so that users can upgrade the firmware behind DROTAG with enhancements and a mix of addons. Another aspect is that new cameras being launched will also be added to the compatibility list in time and your DROTAG will have the possibility of using ever more advanced cameras their functions.
ARW Geo-referencing: Airborne Projects is currently developing support for ARW raw picture format. This update will be free of charge and backwards compatible.
- Size: 71x28mm
- Weight: 39g
- Power supply: 5VDC via Telemetry Port Cable
- 1.6 Seconds Minimum Time Between Pictures (Mission Planner) without camera feedback/No limit with external flash hotshoe (suplied)