Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used to solve a variety of problems for civil and military users - for operational aerial survey, airborne broadcasting, search and rescue, surveillance and inspection, law enforcement, etc. UAVs are very variable, their design and sizes depend on the tasks for which they are intended.

There are different constructions of UAVs. Planes and helicopters are the best known of them, but also there are airships, nanohelicopters (fit in the palm) and even airplanes, powered by solar batteries. Recently UAVs are used increasingly for operational remote sensing (aerial survey). Specialized systems or multipurpose UAV systems are created for this purpose. Ultra-light and light classes of UAVs are preferred for the rapid aerial survey, because they do not require airports or specially prepared sites.

Unmanned aerial vehicles are usually classified according to the interrelated parameters such as mass, time, distance and altitude.

More details

Classes of vehicles:

  • ultra-light — weight up to 10 kg, the flight time of about 1 hour, altitude up to 1 km;
  • light — weight up to 50 kg, the flight time of several hours, altitude up to 3-5km;
  • medium — weight up to 1000 kg, the flight time 10-12 h, altitude up to 9-10 km;
  • heavy — altitude up to 20 km, flight time is more than 24 hours.

It is important to note that ultralight UAVs can’t be equipped with sophisticated precision survey system, because they are severely limited in weight of the payload. Furthermore, these devices are highly susceptible to the influence of weather conditions (for example the UAV with weigh 2 kg can be used at a wind’s speed up to 10m/s). However, the equipment of such devices provides successful and efficient survey for the purpose of real-time monitoring of floods, fires and others.

In addition, the price of such system is very attractive. To perform high-precise aerial survey it is desirable to use light and medium classes of vehicles, as they can be equipped with more advanced photographic and stabilizing equipment. It should be noted, that the improvement of production the miniature sensors caused the development of the UAVs.

Aerial survey from UAVs, equipped with the appropriate survey system allows getting digital images with high spatial resolution of up to 4 cm. Depending on the type of camera images may be used for:

  • Primary Analysis of the areas;
  • Analysis and control of the terrain changes;
  • Searching facilities;
  • Creating new and updating existing orthophotos;
  • Determination the coordinates of objects.

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) include not only the vehicle (UAV), but the entire ground infrastructure, which is designed for machine control and data reception. The company "Sovzond" supplies vehicles of the variety of domestic and foreign manufacturers.

Unmanned aerial vehicles GEOSCAN

Application areas:

Mapping surveys, cadastral mapping, open mining survey and measurements, monitoring of power transmission lines, gas pipes, assessment of farmlands — this is only short list of GeoScan UAVs application areas.


  • High resolution matrix
Matrix (size 23, 5 x15, 6 mm) has a resolution previously unattainable on a micro UAVs. It has 24 million pixels in each image. It is possible to mount optical Carl Zeiss Sonnar.
  • Remote control
Remote control of the camera allows the autopilot to take pictures only when GeoScan is located above the object. After the flight, it isn’t necessary to remove the extra photos. Materials are immediately ready for processing.
  • Georeference
In order to determine the center of photographing, special sensor determines the moment of shutting with precision of a millisecond. The georeference data are transferred to the ground station immediately.
  • Flight Time
Sophisticated aerodynamic of GeoScan UAV and optimized engine let you stay in the air up to 2 hours.
  • Materials
The wings of GeoScan UAV are made of lightweight, durable and elastic Elapor, they can't be damaged because of landing on unprepared sites. The fuselage is made of Kevlar, which is capable of withstanding the toughest use.
  • Security
On the most difficult stages of flight - takeoff and landing, the human factor is completely excluded. To launch vehicle it is enough to put it on a catapult and press the button at the ground station. When GeoScan finishes the flight, it gradually descends by parachute in the trigger point.

Geoscan 101


Flight time up to 80 min Wingspan 130 cm
Speed 60 km/h Launch catapult
Flight distance 60 km Landing parachute
Takeoff weight 2,3 kg Readiness time 10 min
Payload 0,5 kg Temperature range -20 ... +40°C
Max altitude up to 3000 m Max. wind speed 10 m/s
Covered area (for flight) 3-4 km2 @ 4 cm/px Radio link range 25 km

System includes:

  • UAV equipped with Sony Nex5 (7) camera;
  • Catapult;
  • Laptop with preinstalled program for flight tasking and AgisoftPhotoScan Pro software;
  • Modem;
  • Battery charger, spare parts;
  • Transportation box/.

Geoscan 201


Flight time up to 2.5 hours Wingspan, cm 220
Speed cruising (maximum), km/h 80 (130) Launch catapult
Flight distance, km up to 180 Landing parachute
Takeoff weight, kg 5,5 Readiness time, min 15
Payload, kg 1.5 Temperature range, °C -20 … +40
Max. altitude, m up to 3000 Max. wind speed, m/s 12
Area covered in single flight at 4 cm/px resolution, km2 up to 7 Radio link range, km up to 25

Due to increased airborne time GeoScan 201 suits especially well for surveying of large areas and lengthy objects. In single flight it covers up to 15 sq. km with resolution enough for production of 1:2000 scale map.

Onboard geodetic GNSS-receiver allows to measure position of images with high accuracy, allowing in some cases to omit ground based works.

Geoscan 401


Flight time up to 1 hour Takeoff / landingsite, m 5*5
Max. horizontal /vertical speed, km/h up to 50/ up to 60 Readiness time, min 5
Flight distance, km up to 25 Temperature range, °C -30 … +40
Takeoff weight, kg 6.5 Max. wind speed, m/s 10
Max. altitude, m up to 500 Area covered in single flght
at 2 cm/px resolution, km2

GeoScan 401 is especially effective for capturing highly detailed pictures of relatively small objects — mining pits, quarries, tower structures, objects of cultural heritage.

GeoScan 401 allows circular capturing of architectural complexes and cultural heritage objects from various altitudes, and even in dense urban areas. From data captured by UAV one can then build photorealistic 3D-model, perform volume measurements, assess the state of objects, estimate scope of restoration needed. Georeferenced 3D-models may be used also for creating virtual tours.

The aircraft may be equipped with a high resolution video camera or infrared camera. Combined with onboard set for online data transmission this makes possible remote visual inspection of objects, identify structural changes, corrosion, damage to the connectors etc. The UAS also used for monitoring and operational management in emergency zones.


  • Air-cooled gasoline aircraft engine with electric starter onboard;
  • Easy transportability and maintainability through modularity;
  • Sealed gear boxes and electronics;
  • Highly reliable mechanical design;
  • Integrated, autonomous flight control system FCS;
  • Autonomous take-off and landing;
  • Optional (D) GPS/INS integrated navigation system with accuracy evaluation;;
  • Flexible payload options;
  • Possibility of vertical take-off and landing, hovering and maneuvers in confined spaces;
  • High maneuverability;
  • Smoothly running engine and optimal vibration isolation of the payload;
  • Long-term flight endurance up to 90 min non-stop (altitude of 500 m above the surface).

Main rotor diameter 3.2 m
Tail rotor diameter 0.65 m
Main rotor speed 860 rpm
Empty weight (no fuel, no payload) 45 kg
Gasoline engine 100 cm
Engine power (approx.) 18 PS
Electric starter (onboard included) 12 V
Fuel tank volume (standard) 2*5.0 l
Material of rotor blades carbon
Material of main body aluminum
Engine cooling system Air-cooled
Length 3.3 m
Width 1.0 m
Height (approx.) 1.0 m
Landing gear skids (wheels optional)

Helicopter can be equipped with additional equipment for airborne laser scanning.

Additional equipment:

Scan angle range +/- 40° = 80°
Scanning mechanism rotating polygon mirror
Scan speed 5 scans/sec to 60 scans/sec, 10 000 points/sec
Maximum measurement range 200 m
The noise of the laser (in distance) 2 сm
The diameter of the laser spot 54 cm at a distance of 200 m
Angle measurement resolution 0,01°
Measurements per line 500 @ 20 scans/sec, 1000 @ 10 scans/sec
Internal Sync Timer Optional for real-time synchronized time stamping of scan data
ТOperating temperature range -10 to +50̊ С


Position accuracy
1,5 m CEP SPS
0,6 m CEP SBAS
0,4 m CEP DGPS
0,5 m CEP VBS2
0,15 m CEP XP2
0,1 m CEP HP2
0,2 m 1σ L1
0,02 m 1σ L1/L2
Velocity accuracy 0,05 km/h RMS
– Bias 10 mm/s2 1σ
– Linearity 0,01%
– Scale factor 0,1% 1σ
– Range 100 m/s2
Roll/Pitch 0,03° 1σ
Heading 0,1° 1σ
Angular Rate:
– Bias 2 °/h
– ARW 0,2 °/h
– Range 1 100°/s
Track (at 50 km/h) 0,07° RMS
Slip Angle (at 50 km/h) 0,15° RMS
Laterial Velocity 0,20%


  • Easy and quick deployment;
  • Digital and automated image processing;
  • Data formats for using in GIS and CAD;
  • Uniform coverage of the territory by frequent scanning.


Category Option Meaning
survey altitude default (5 cm accuracy) 150 m
overlay changing, the default 75%
average coating (45 min. flight) 1,5 km 2 (5 cm precision) 3 km 2(10 cm precision)
average number of photos per km2 ( altitude 150 m) 600

pixel resolution (GSD) 5 cm (default altitude)
planimetric accuracy 1 pxl (5 cm)
projection semi-true or true
RGB, no haze
point cloud
pixel resolution (GSD)
up to 1pxl (5 cm.)
planimetric accuracy 5 cm (default)
projection 10 cm (default)

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