The Digital Soldiers blog

is the perfect place to find new and exciting information on drone technology, digital video and imaging technology, and general information on our new and upcoming projects.

Stay in touch and follow our blog to engage in thoughtful discourse in regards to today’s tech news!

Drone Surveying with DJI Phantom 4 RTK in the UK

Posted by Tim Harris on Aug 6, 2019 9:20:22 AM

Working with the DJI Phantom 4 RTK in the UK

We are stepping into the drone era and there is an undeniable need to upgrade the accuracy of these aerial vehicles. There are many uses for drones and today, we are talking about their implementation in the surveying and house building markets in the United Kingdom.


The standards are set high

There is already quite an availability of drones on the market today is quite high. This means that there are plenty of options to choose from and they provide different features and performance levels depending on their cost. It would appear that creating a drone that people perceive as an upgrade amongst the existing models is quite difficult. However, by adding the RTK feature to the DJIP4 has enabled it possible to create a serious upgrade which has proved to show incredible results

The reason why this drone is so effective is due to the creators paying close attention to the needs of the industry. Mapping and surveying are definitely the priority with the DJI Phantom. Purchasing this particular unit just for the purpose of flight and footage would be a waste of money as the standard Phantom 4 unit is already suitable for that purpose.

Contact Us

The impact on the operational workflow

Using this drone has a direct and extremely important effect on the efficiency of each project. It allows for the simplification of many operations and this means that you save both time and money for optimal results. For example, the process of setting up ground control points (GCPs) used to be very time-consuming. There is a significant reduction in the number of GCPs required when you use the DJI, and construction surveying in general manages to see a complete revolution with this flexible and compact drone.    

The simple fact that fewer and eventually no ground control points will be a requirement process is enough to make this an exciting evolution. Using a single drone for this purpose is a great way to increase operational capacity, but deploying several drones will supercharge that efficiency to a completely new level.     



Important specifications for the DJI Phantom 4 RTK

The DJI Phantom has a battery life of up to 30 minutes. This might seem short, but it is a good amount of flight time for a drone of this caliber. You can map large areas within 20 to 30 minutes, so this makes this drone ideal for construction surveying and house building. The drone will gather very specific and consistent information that you can process in order to obtain optimal results.

Another of the great advantages of the DJI Phantom 4RTK is that it will know exactly where to start again should you need to stop to recharge the batteries. Once it takes flight, it will go to the exact location where it scanned and gathered data. The drone provides outstanding data on terrain modeling, volume calculation and the crucial monitoring of progress.

This drone comes with an exceptional flight control system that can make previous work much simpler. The drone will fly over these areas on autopilot and this proves to be an excellent way to keep an eye on the progress in any project. The RTK module provides improved centimeter-level data and this greatly improves image metadata, a feature that is most welcome in the industry and has made the 4 RTK a choice that has been very rewarding for a minor investment.

It’s very important to consider that drones without RTK usually need to have no less than 30 to 40 GCPs in order to provide similar results. The process of positioning these GCP takes hours during which time other complications may arise. This is no longer a problem or a factor to consider with the DJI Phantom. Real-time kinematics make a huge difference in this process. Accuracy in positioning for surveying has never been better.

Tests have provided extremely accurate measurements at five centimeters in Z and one to three centimeters in X and Y. The drone has a 20MP sensor and this allows for high-resolution mapping. Each new flight with the drone will improve the mapping in any given area because each photo acts like an aerial GCP. This means that you are able to compare the progress on site, a strong advantage which makes the Phantom an outstanding investment.

The package

DSC00595The basic package for the Phantom 4 RTK comes with the drone,  controller, propellers, two high-capacity batteries, battery charger and all the standard cables needed for the unit. For those familiar with the regular Phantom Pro, the only difference is that this version has the RTK unit at the top but both drones are nearly identical in design. They both use the same camera and have the same layout of features with RTK exception.

Assembly of the propellers is extremely easy and simple. You should have no issues preparing it for flight within a few minutes, however, you do need to charge the batteries before you turn it on and take it for a test flight. With that said, this is a practical drone to unbox and assemble with ease.

Data uploads

You can retrieve the flight data and upload it to the Cloud. Then you can process the raw data, comprehensive data and use it for accurate evaluation and detailed 3D modeling. This process makes it the ideal option for engineers who want to receive the best and most reliable models to meet their project requirements.

Being able to keep your information in the Cloud and create a robust database of your drone mapping process is definitely a huge advantage. I feel that this is a key element of modern drones in terms of how practical they are and how easy it is to upload your info.

The Flight modes

The Phantom 4 RTK allows pilots the chance to select the exact flight path that they want. They will adjust speed, altitude, camera parameters and overlap rate for optimal workflow during each flight. It also comes equipped with an alarm that is going to keep pilots informed of any conditions that might affect both the flight and the mapping process.

This drone is very stable and it requires very little in terms of flight knowledge. Anyone can learn how to operate the Phantom 4 RTK without having to spend too much time getting used to the controls. The drone provides impeccable footage with outstanding steadiness.

Final thoughts

There is no doubt that drones will continue to be incorporated in the construction industry. We are seeing some amazing changes in the way these drones are upgraded for mapping and surveying. It is only natural that their involvement in construction is going to continue to evolve. This is going to help contractors finish their projects faster with impeccable results.

The Phantom pro has been a huge success in the mapping and surveying communities. The addition of RTK makes this an outstanding drone that is going to revolutionise the industry and provide the most reliable and outstanding results with accuracy and efficiency. You are going to find this to be a reliable investment that will give you amazing benefits when you are working on any project. You will save time and improve your mapping quality to avoid delays and speed up the construction process.

Contact Us


Topics: Drone Surveying