Lynker Analytics are expanding their cooperation with specialist aerial imaging company UAV Mapping NZ.  Currently the two companies are completing an inventory of the extent of forest loss in New Zealand during 2017 and 2018 for the Ministry for the Environment.  Under this contract the combined team, which also includes Carbon Forest Services, are conducting an aerial survey of over 7,000 forested areas across New Zealand.  
Based in Ohakune, UAV Mapping NZ started operating in early 2014 with a fixed wing UAV.  The company has steadily grown survey capabilities through both manned fixed wing light aircraft and helicopter operations.  The staff include UAV operators, commercial pilots, technical trades, and former Armed Forces personnel.  They provide aerial remote sensing services including 3D Virtual world capture, high resolution ortho imagery and point cloud data for projects of various sizes and complexity.   
UAV Mapping have a range of high specification cameras and use the well-respected Aviatrix flight management system (FMS) and airborne camera control system for flight planning.  This system is ideal for use on manned light aircraft, either in single pilot or multi-crew operations and is able to interface with a range of GPS receivers and attitude measurement sensors. 
Dan Laidlaw who runs UAV Mapping NZ says “this system means we can quickly plan surveys, provide accurate quotes and in the air our automated system uses a predetermined flight path which triggers our camera automatically to captures the required image(s)”.
For the Ministry for the Environment deforestation survey the combined team are capturing high resolution imagery using Cesna 172 aircraft at a flying altitude of approximately 5,000 feet above ground level.  Using air operator, Action Aviation the team has access to five aircraft distributed at two bases in the central North Island.  Laidlaw goes on to say “Requiring over 50 flying days, our chosen altitude for this project allows us to work in overcast conditions providing significant contingency for bad weather… and pandemics.”
From this photography Lynker Analytics have developed a machine learning classification system that apportions land cover to sub-areas within each forest block.  This approach allows us to build a very refined land-use classification that aligns with both domestic and international rules on land-use, land-use change, and forestry.  In the end this project will produce a summary of forest change and the associated impact on greenhouse gas emissions across New Zealand over those two years.
Dan Laidlaw adds “this relationship is very important to our company in that it allows us to tailor our acquisition platform to the requirements and opportunities emerging in the rapidly developing field of AI”.
Lynker Analytics Managing Director, Matt Lythe says
"As the forestry survey has progressed, we have fielded a lot of interest from other organisations wanting high resolution aerial photography together with AI based insights such as land cover, land use change or object detection.  A deeper connection between the UAV Mapping acquisition platform and our data processing and AI capabilities will be very beneficial for us and our mutual clients.”
The team have already acquired and delivered several other imagery orthophoto products for clients in the following sectors:
  • Forestry
  • Farming and Agriculture
  • Property / Real Estate
This example is a forested area in the Marlborough Sounds of approximately 15 square km where we captured 80 frames with forward and side overlap in approximately 30 minutes. This type of imagery enables detailed surface models to be generated also which reveal excellent micro topography.
Both parties are excited about the potential of this enhanced relationship with the collective ability to carefully design, plan, capture and calibrate imagery requirements to meet the needs of the AI for every project.