Emlid RTK GNSS receivers were recently used to carry out training and conduct UAV-based research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Drone mapping is no novelty for the DRC, but up to now most of the drone flying jobs are done by foreign contractors. Therefore the research groups from the Catholic University of Bukavu (UCB), Volcanic observatory of Goma (OVG) and the University of Lubumbashi (UNILU) saw the essential need for the region to have skillful people able to use drones for topographic mapping and land surveying.
With the assistance of the geography department of the UCLouvain (Belgium), the team went for support to ARES. Together, they launched a project aiming at creating a local center of excellence in UAV-based research in the DRC. The goals were to provide advanced training and to locally install a well-equipped UAV-laboratory.
The Congolese researchers used Emlid products to collect centimeter-accurate 3D positional data to study soil erosion processes in Bukavu and to quantify termite mound volumes in Lubumbashi.
Using a Reach M+ RTK module and a Reach RS+ allowed to carry out efficient training and collect precise and reliable data for the research. A pair of Reach RS+ was deployed to survey ground control points, and a Reach M+ was integrated on a drone for PPK mapping.
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