Brican & Applanix Using UAV’s to Map the Earth

by Chuck Black

Brampton, ON based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer Brican Flight Systems and Richmond Hill, ON based Applanix, an industry leader in mobile mapping products and solutions, have partnered on a package of tools capable of performing comprehensive geographic mapping and referencing.

The new offering has the capability to generate:

  • Geographic information system (GIS) presentations related to orthophotos and base mapping, urban and regional planning, earthworks monitoring for mining and civil engineering projects, coastal zone monitoring and environmental assessments in inaccessible or inhospitable areas.
  • Rapid response mapping and time‐sensitive photogrammetry of turbulent terrain in emergency and natural disaster scenarios and/or in situations requiring change detection or situation assessment.
  • Tactical/reconnaissance mapping, mission planning, operations preparation, damage assessment in inhospitable terrain, personnel and equipment movement monitoring.
  • Corridor mapping of power line and utility pipeline surveys, transportation corridors or under situations requiring route planning and assessment.
  • Agriculture inventories, crop growth surveys, disease monitoring or other situations requiring recurrent image acquisition and analysis, change detection or environmental impact monitoring.

The Brican contribution to the partnership is the Brican TD-100 UAV, a modular design optimized for extended endurance with low vibration, which makes it ideal for sensitive payloads, plus interchangeable configurations for the electrical system and engine, which allows for compatibility with the operational requirements of military activities. The TD-100 has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 55 lbs (24.95 kg) and an empty weight of 35 lbs (15.8 kg). The wing span is 196 inches (5 m), the vehicle length is 79 inches (2 m) and the fuselage diameter is 10 inches (0.25 m).

Best of all, the TD-100 is capable of launched from the back of a pickup truck, as can be seen around the 30 second mark in the video above.

No less important to the partnership is Applanix, which builds a range of products to provide dynamically accurate measurements of vehicle and sensor position and orientation. By combining data from global positioning services (GPS) and the inertial measurements, Applanix is able to provide a fully integrated, turnkey solution for high-productivity in-motion surveying, direct data georeferencing, and robust mobile mapping.

The latest partnership caps off an impressive string of recent successes for Brican.

In 2013, the TD-100 was named the ‘platform of choice’ for the National Research Council of Canada‘s (NRC) civilian unmanned aircraft systems program (CivUAS), an initiative to develop advanced UAV applications for use over Canadian domestic airspace.

Last month, Brican received partnership funding from the Federal government Defence Industrial Research Program (DIRP) in order to assess the TD-100 as a potential vehicle for antisubmarine warfare detection.

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