Quality Assurance for Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles

Unpiloted aerial vehicles (UAVs) have come a long from their military origins. In addition to being one of the latest must-have gadgets for tech enthusiast, UAVs – or drones – are now indispensable tools across a wide range of sectors. QA4UAV, which is currently under development, will be an easy to use, end-to-end process to ensure that spatial data products acquired from sensors on UAVs are high quality and fit-for-purpose.

The automated software tool will help manage the procurement workflow by assisting users to determine their data capture specifications, ensuring the basic quality of captured data while still in the field, and finally performing rigorous quality assurance on the data once back in the office. The user interface will be tailored to suppliers and end users with less technical expertise and will guide them through the process.

QA4UAV is being developed and managed by FrontierSI, with collaborative input from the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the Western Australian Minerals Research Institute, ThinkSpatial, and Australian UAV.

We are in a unique position with respect to government and industry to develop an acceptable standard specification and QA tool which is supported across both sectors. We can also leverage experience and concepts from similar software tools already developed for airborne LiDAR (QA4LiDAR) and mobile LiDAR (QA4MOBiLE).

The outcomes will streamline and standardise the acquisition and quality assurance process for suppliers and end users of UAV data, to ensure products meet a minimum quality standard and data is reliable and fit for use. This will reduce the frustrations, additional costs and delays in projects caused by gaps in understanding between UAV data users and suppliers regarding project requirements.

The QA4UAV user needs report is available for downloads here.