PPK 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. This article explains how to collect data using the PPK workflow. For the RTK workflow, utilizing the D-RTK2 base station, click here.

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.

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/quote to request a quote, once you have accepted the quote you will be prompted 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)

  • Ground Control (.TXT or .CSV) in PNEZD GPS format

File Deliverables

Linework deliverables include:

  • DWG Package (saved in Civil 3D 2013)

Drafted linework also includes all Photogrammetry deliverables.

Photogrammetry deliverables include:

  • Full Resolution Orthophoto

  • CAD-Friendly Orthophoto

  • Full Resolution Digital Surface Model (DSM)

  • World File (TFW)

  • Point Cloud (LAS)

To request professionally drafted linework on your project, request a quote at aerotas.com/quote.

Learn more about the RTK workflow and effectively using the D-RTK 2 GNSS Base Station.