senseFly’s new eBee Geo benefits and pricing turns heads in survey and GIS industry
Information from senseFly
The senseFly eBee Geo is a new lightweight, fixed-wing mapping and surveying drone designed to help you map larger areas faster than quadcopters and more efficiently than terrestrial surveying equipment.
Benjamin Pinguet, senseFly’s Product and Solution Manager, explains how the eBee Geo can help you improve your mapping and surveying workflows, who the it is best suited for, and the eBee Geo’s primary data gathering applications, including vital specs.
Which uses and applications are the eBee Geo best suited for?
eBee Geo is best suited for medium-to-large mapping missions where you need to create an orthomosaic or digital surface models (DSMs). The types of applications are fairly broad, from construction and engineering, to urban mapping and mining.
What key features set eBee Geo apart from other drones and terrestrial surveying tools?
eBee Geo is lightweight, weighing only 1.3 kg (2.87 lbs) and is safe to operate by design. It offers 45-minutes of flight time, which is roughly 50% more than what you get from a typical quadcopter. So, you gain greater efficiency and mission range.
eBee Geo also comes with the senseFly S.O.D.A. camera. This sensor (S.O.D.A for Sensor Optimized for Drone Applications) was designed by senseFly and intended for drone applications. Because S.O.D.A. is optimised for photogrammetry, you’re going to get excellent data quality from this payload.
There is also available real-time kinematic (RTK), which adds extra efficiency and safety because you don’t have to put ground control points out throughout the site – making it an efficient solution for medium-to-large-scale mapping.
How does eBee Geo maintain data quality and data consistency?
Data quality is important to our customers, which is why eBee Geo offers state-of-the-art autopilot, a professional global navigation satellite system (GNSS) board and professional-grade software such as our tried and tested eMotion flight planning software.
What makes the eMotion software so special and sets it apart from other flight planning software?
People typically realise they want our drones after they see the software! eMotion has been a leading flight planning software for 10 years now, because it is robust yet easy to use. If you are doing simple mapping, it is easy to create your mission flight plan in a matter of minutes. You can also fly challenging environments, such as mountains and other areas, with drastic changes in elevation.
eMotion also offers many safety features and knows if the drone’s altitude intersects with elevation data, so you don’t have a risk of ground collision. It also has built-in fail-safe features regarding how far and high the drone can fly.
All our drones feature automated flight. You plan the mission, launch the drone and then the data capture is all automatic, which not only makes it safer to use than a quadcopter, but also means data quality stays consistent because we reduce the chance of operator error.
How easy is eBee Geo to physically launch and land?
eBee Geo is easy to launch because you do not have any heavy configurations and the drone is very lightweight. Some operators favour the two-handed launch and more experienced operators can even launch with one hand, kind of like throwing Frisbee, because the drone is so light. By hand launching, you can adjust your launch direction based on the changing wind conditions.
As for landing, all our drones are very robust! The kinetic energy is absorbed on impact, and short of some minor scuffs and scratches, the drone can take many hard impacts and keep going!
How does eBee Geo help surveyors and geographic information system (GIS) professionals achieve greater ROI?
Fixed-wings like the eBee Geo can fly farther and faster on a single battery than quadcopters. That alone can affect how efficiently you collect data and even impact your business’ profit generation. Not only can you take on a greater variety of projects with a fixed-wing drone, but the extended flight time and versatile nature of the technology make it easier for you to complete jobs quickly.
When it comes to medium-to-large area mapping projects or accessing difficult-to-reach sites, eBee Geo makes that easy too, thanks to its extended flight radius. But it doesn’t just outperform quads, eBee Geo gives you the capability to complete more mapping jobs in the same time as traditional terrestrial surveying methods, too. And with its available RTK, you gain even more efficiency.
What training resources are available to surveyors and GIS professionals who are new eBee Geo?
When learning how to use a drone, the first thing that’s important is to get the proper training, so we make sure to properly train and certify our distribution partners around the world. This ensures they have the knowledge, experience and the capability needed to train customers. On top of that, we have a new training program that gives you all the skills you need to get the most from your drone and ensure your projects are successful.
What would you say to a surveyor considering an eBee Geo mapping drone?
If you’re interested in creating detailed orthomosaics, DSMs and point clouds, as well as completing projects faster and scaling your business, eBee Geo is a great entry point to professional drone mapping.