Processing data from the Phantom 4 RTK

Aerotas can process data collected with the Phantom 4 RTK

Aerotas has been successfully processing data collected with the Phantom 4 RTK since October of 2018.

Overall, the Phantom 4 RTK is a great piece of technology that will improve both accuracy and efficiency for surveyors. But, there are no two ways about it, the processing workflow for the Phantom 4 RTK is considerably more complicated than a standard drone surveying workflow.

The Aerotas data team published a very detailed resource for processing the Phantom 4 RTK data on your own (Phantom 4 RTK/PPK Processing Workflow). But, Aerotas is here to help if you are looking for human-in-the-loop data processing on a project-by-project basis.

When working with Aerotas, this is the recommended workflow for PPK processing.

Equipment Needed

  • DJI Phantom 4 RTK Aircraft

  • Dual-band GNSS base station (e.g. Trimble R10, Leica GS16, or similar)

Note: this workflow does NOT require the use of the DJI D-RTK2 base station. Our testing has shown that utilizing 3rd party base stations from providers like Trimble or Leica produces more reliable results.

Field Collection Procedures

  • Set up your base station

    • Collect L1/L2 observations at a minimum of 1Hz (5Hz or 0.2-second observations are preferred, but not necessary)

    • If possible, set up your base station over a known point

    • Ensure your base station is set up to collect and store raw RINEX data (.19o and .19n files)

  • Set a minimum of 3 ground control points

    • These are used as checkpoints to validate the accuracy of the RTK data

    • For large projects, we recommend 3 ground control points per flight

  • Fly your site to collect data using Aerotas’ best practices

    • Aerotas field checklists are available at aerotas.com  

Data Upload Procedures

Go to aerotas.com/upload to upload your data. Be sure to include the following files:

  • Photos captured by the drone (.JPG)

  • GNSS files stored on the drone (EVENTLOG.bin, PPKRAW.bin, Rinex.obs and Timestamp.MRK)

  • Base Station RINEX and Navigation data files (.19o, .19n)

The best part is that Aerotas can deliver survey-grade CAD files created from your Phantom 4 RTK data. To request professionally drafted linework on your project, request a quote...

While the RTK workflow may sound intimidating, it is something that can definitely be conquered by having the right workflows and working with the right professionals. Working with Aerotas will ensure that you are getting best-in-class accuracy out of this complex, but extremely promising system.