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Sep 06, 2016, 08:26 PM
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New Product

One button Survey (OBS) and Stryder Direct Georeference

Hi everyone, I want to introduce myself as one of the owners of Epoc Systems Ltd.

At Epoc we are ALL ABOUT ACCURACY! no more inaccurate maps and data, leave that for the weekend warriors.

We can be found here

A little about us. We have been using drones for surveying for over 7 years now.

As a matter of fact I provided feedback to Agisoft Photoscan Professional many years ago whom we still use and find to be the most accurate for model and map creation.

In that time with hundreds of accurate surveys under our belts we learned how to create accurate maps, not just pretty ones.

We have placed ground control in every situation you can imagine from mountain sides to river valleys and mining pits.

Our company has focused on two products the OBS and Stryder RTK

I will give a quick overview on both.

OBS is a handheld cube with literally one button. The intent is to be used as a simple surveying tool that ANYBODY can use. Even your 4 year old It literally has one button. Watch the video on the website and it gives a good overview of ground control and OBS. PLEASE NOTE we have updated the project after gaining feedback to use dual frequency receivers.... wait time is now drastically reduced.

OBS can be used to survey your ground control targets AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT it can be used to provide check shots to your data so that you can prove accuracy to your client. Accuracy = money.

OBS will be a Kickstarter program that is about to launch end of November 2016. With your support it will be in your hands early next year. We are sourcing dual frequency hardware and hope to release with a kit package of $3900 USD.

The reason OBS is a kickstarter is that we have put all our pennies into Stryder RTK however we have done all the testing and development on OBS so it seems a good fit for a Kickstarter campaign.

Edit I have removed "Stryder RTK" from this thread as I believe it is causing confusion

We are here working hard so that the data you provide to your client is ACCURATE AND REPEATABLE because industry is getting smart and a pretty picture is what your competition provides. Accuracy is what you will provide.

So I am starting this thread to hear from you, get your comments, feedback and hopefully support.

Don't hesitate to post here or email us at [email protected] we would love to hear from you.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

You will also notice I kept my old RCG name "Saabguyspg" you can see that I have been around for years, I learned on mikrokopters, I am in the "trenches" just like you. We will likely create an Epoc account soon on RCG but to be transparent I wanted you all to know who you were talking to

Last edited by saabguyspg; Nov 24, 2016 at 12:09 PM.
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Sep 06, 2016, 08:27 PM
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Last edited by saabguyspg; Nov 24, 2016 at 11:56 AM.
Sep 06, 2016, 08:27 PM
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Q Can I use this with Ebee non RTK to make my data accurate?

A YES, simply place your ground control or pain x's and follow the work flow in the video.

Q Can I do check shots for my Ebee RTK drone?

A YES! after you have set up your Ebee base over a known point (usually with a tripod) just put the base on the same point and start logging. Then send your helper out to take some check shots with the OBS rover and use those check shots to verify your data. How many times have you been asked to provide an accurate shot at the bottom of the pit, river, top of a bank etc? now you can.

Q Don't I need 'RTK' to achieve centimetre-accuracy? Isn't RTK more accurate than post-processing?

A No. 'RTK' stands for “Real Time Kinematic” and is a method of correcting GNSS positions in real time via a radio link between a stationary base GNSS receiver and a mobile/rover GNSS receiver. The position of the base GNSS receiver is known and used to calculate the position of the rover GNSS receiver; the calculation or correction is broadcast to the rover over a radio link. The accuracy of an RTK position can vary from millimeters to meters. 'RTK' does not guarantee any level of accuracy.

The primary advantage of RTK GNSS systems is the ability to obtain accurate locations in real-time, which is useful for many surveying and precise positioning tasks. However, RTK GNSS surveys are inherently less accurate/precise than post-processed surveys due to the limited amount of data available to calculate a position.

Post-processing is the most accurate and precise means of determining positions via GNSS survey because it is possible to collect and average much more data. All high-accuracy GNSS positioning is accomplished via post-processing, including global geodetic control networks. The primary disadvantage is that it is not possible to determine real-time positions. However, UAV surveys do not require any real-time positions and consequently post-processing provides the highest level of accuracy and precision possible.

Q That's a lot of techno babble what's a "Baseline"

A That is a simply a fancy word for "How far away from my base is my rover"

Q How long do I have to wait until I can move on to the next GCP location?

A In our tests we had mm results after 3 minutes observation time at each GCP. However to ensure you have safety margin we recommend 5 minutes of answering emails or playing Plants Vs zombies on your phone. We are working on an algorithm which may speed this process up.

Q How can we do this faster?

A Edit, we have sourced a reasonable dual frequency GPS only receiver that we can put into OBS which increased cost quite a bit but also means far less time in the field standing in the cold

Q What is included in the set?

A One base receiver, one rover receiver, two alignment plates, charging equipment and professional hard case.

Q How long will the batteries last?

A Battery life is dependent on ambient temperature, however, at 20C the batteries will last for about 12 hours of continuous use. Battery life can be extended via any USB power supply, including power banks and solar panels.

Q How big are the receivers?

A Both base and rover receiver are cubes that measure approximately 6”W x 6”L x 6”H (150x150x150mm).

Q What is left to be done on the system?

A The production PCB and injection mold for the housing need to be produced. We have done all the field tests.

Q What type of antennae is used in the modules?

A We are using survey grade L1 L2 antennae.

Q How can I set up the base over a known point?

A Both the base and rover modules will have a standard survey thread on the bottom to thread onto a tribrach for use on an tripod. We also have some ideas on how to easily set up over a known pin in the field. More to come on this.

Q How many receivers do I need?

A The basic kit comes with two receivers. The base receiver is stationary and typically set on a known point for the duration of the survey. The rover receiver is moved around the survey area to collect GCP positions and check shots. Additional rover receivers can be purchased separately to allow two or more people to collect GCP positions simultaneously.

Q Do I have to use spray paint?

A No you can use ground targets, flagging or any photo-identifiable feature such as manholes. We use environmentally friendly spray paint as we have found it to be the most reliable and efficient method of establishing GCPs.

Q I have never surveyed before, will I be able to do this?

A YES! we will provide you with a step by step guide as to how to lay out ground control on your sites to get the most accurate results.

Q What if my control point that I want to tie into is off site?

A No problem! The OBS system is capable of very accurate control surveys for baselines up to about 10km. A control survey can be completed before or after the site survey. While it is recommended that multiple base receivers be used for any GNSS control survey, we have had very good results with simply setting the base receiver on the existing/off-site control point, setting the rover receiver on the new/on-site control point and post-processing the baseline between the two.

Q Why don't you make it a "Smart target"?

A Well it is... if you buy the "Pro Kit" this will get you 5 OBS modules. One is a base in the middle of your site and the other four placed around you side like the 5 on a dice. Then you can just push the button and walk away. No waiting around. We did however create a smart target only but after field tests we decided lugging things around the site like that is just not practical. Also you can't attain an accurate check shot with a big smart target, not to mention sitting a big target on the pavement is easy... but when was the last time you had to survey a parking lot?
Last edited by saabguyspg; Nov 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM.
Sep 06, 2016, 08:28 PM
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Last edited by saabguyspg; Sep 07, 2016 at 02:06 AM.
Sep 06, 2016, 08:28 PM
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reserved for requests and suggestions
Sep 06, 2016, 08:29 PM
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reserved for training video and "How to's"
Last edited by saabguyspg; Sep 07, 2016 at 02:17 AM.
Sep 06, 2016, 08:35 PM
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This section is a little about how we got to where we are....

Here is a photo of our smart target project that we scrapped because of field tests... yes we had these done and working 6 months ago and scrapped the project to start over because they were impractical for almost every type of survey.

I MUST REMIND EVERYONE this is NOT what we are selling. I am only posting this to show we have been through this and started over from scratch knowing that we did not have a good product yet.

We use these things in the field. If we would not buy it... why would you?

The center of this unit was removable for check point locations... but at the end of the day why not just ditch the target part?
Last edited by saabguyspg; Nov 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM.
Sep 06, 2016, 10:44 PM
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A simple tool for drone operators?!

Thanks Steve!

Looking forward to your whitepaper with great interest!
Sep 07, 2016, 06:48 AM
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Looking forward to reading more Steve!
Sep 07, 2016, 07:36 AM
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Commenting for further information when available
Sep 07, 2016, 08:29 AM
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Sorry guys readers / moderators I put my logo in the avatar too soon.

I will be paying for banner ads soon and will put my logo back ASAP.
Sep 07, 2016, 10:33 AM
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Av8Chuck's Avatar
How much does it cost?
Sep 07, 2016, 10:51 AM
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Edit now that we have gone dual frequency the pricse point has changed, we now aim for a complete system for $3900 USD

2 obs Cubes (base and rover)
charging system
post processing software (no subscription required as it was asked the other day)

I am not sure if we can include the alignment plate for setting up over known control but we have some tricks we may be able to try with that regard first.

To be honest we will use all funds to better the OBS unit. We have a good roadmap with some exciting features for OBS down the road too.

Last edited by saabguyspg; Nov 24, 2016 at 12:10 PM.
Sep 07, 2016, 10:57 AM
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Thanks Steve. When will you post your white paper? Does it explain in laymen terms how to use and verify the data? It's interesting reading on the M600 thread.

When will this be available? Also what's the difference with the Pro version and how much does it cost
Sep 07, 2016, 11:08 AM
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Hi Av8, the white paper will be as simple as possible. Essentially it will compare OBS to two different pro grade survey systems, an optical Leica system and a Pro grade RTK system.

I can tell you we were bang on

We will write up lots of "How to's" in order to teach people how to set up over a known control point, how to place your check shots and how to place GCP's if you need them.

We want this all in "Laymens terms" as well. The easier it is for you the easiers it is for us to help you.

It will be available early next year, just in time for next surveying season.

Last edited by saabguyspg; Nov 24, 2016 at 12:10 PM.

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