• Latitude Aerospace Solutions


Have you ever imagined that drones can measure large amounts of mining material? Or that in turn could manage quarries and mining sites? Thanks to the drone technology, it can be achieved quickly and accurately. With the help of our WingQuad 3 we have carried out measurements and volume calculations projects obtaining highly accurate results.

1. Introduction

The Port of Esmeraldas is a seaport located in the city of Esmeraldas, on the northwestern coast of the Republic of Ecuador, which has direct access from the Pacific Ocean on the equator. It is because of its geographical location that this port is of great importance in the commercial flow of the area.

The main interest of this study focuses on the calculation of the volume of material piles, from high-resolution aerial photography using a VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) drone, the WingQuad 3; that has a fully electric propulsion and is made of an impact-resistant EPS with an internal carbon fiber structure and EPOfoam body.

For which UNACEM has contracted the services of the company LAS Latitude Aerospace Solutions, taking into account that the use of these geo technologies has become more common in recent years to gather information.

2. General Objective

Perform the calculation of the volume of material piles in the Emerald Port through the use of an unmanned aerial system with built-in high-resolution photographic equipment.

3. Specific Objectives

• Generate a cloud of points.

• Generate an orthomosaic.

• Generate a digital surface model.

• Generate a digital terrain model.

• Generate contours.

• Calculation of volume of material piles.

4. Methodology

Based on the provisions of UNACEM, a contract is established in the Port of Esmeraldas.

To carry out the aerial photogrammetric survey, as well as the information processing, the activities were divided into two stages: A field phase and a cabinet phase corresponding to the processing and calculation of volume.
The equipment used for the collection of information are the following: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles:
WingQuad3: It has a fully electric propulsion, it is made of an impact-resistant EPS with an internal carbon-fiber structure. Its design increases the effectiveness of the Pitch and Yaw control surfaces which also results in a higher vertical ascent rate which decreases the space needed for takeoffs and landings. Vertical takeoff and landing capability without a runway (VTOL). It allows to gather information of more than 150 hectares per flight, with a flight autonomy of 60 minutes.
On the other hand, flight planning was carried out in the LAS - UAVenture AirRails software, which is a software that allows us to plan in 3D as shown in the image below.