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Top 5 #RDOIC Blog Posts

Top 5 #RDOIC Blog Posts

Many feel the last weekend in May is the unofficial kick-off to summer. To celebrate the season’s transition, we took a look back at our most popular blog posts from the past few months. While this blog covers a variety of topics, including machine control, surveying, new products, and more, at its core is a focus on UAV technology solutions.

So it’s no surprise all but one of our Top 5 blog posts this year are drone focused.

As industry experts in UAV solutions from senseFly and Topcon, let us know what you want to learn about. Contact us with questions, ideas, or future topics we should cover. Until then, take a look back at some of the best.

#5: Complete Integration is here: Introducing John Deere’s 700K SmartGrade Dozer
Find out what’s so ‘smart’ about John Deere’s new SmartGradeTM Dozer. Gone are the mast and cables in a typical system – this unit boasts seamless integration.

#4: Big UAS Regulatory Changes from the FAA
When the FAA announced UAV regulatory changes to the blanket COA on March 28, we were quick to break down all the acronyms and provide the info you need.

#3: Aerial Targets and Drones – Be Prepared
Are you utilizing aerial targets and drones? The task of putting down aerial targets can be considered tedious but it doesn’t have to be. This post covers some key recommendations and best practices on utilizing targets.

#2: Generating Highly Accurate, 3D Data Using a senseFly Drone
In this popular post, we recap a senseFly project in which the senseFly albris (formerly eXom) demonstrates its capabilities and accuracy.

#1: Commercial Drone Compliance with Part 107
Our most popular article so far this year, we lay out the facts behind Part 107.

Learn more about the products and services provided by RDO Integrated Controls. Visit www.rdoic.com.


May 25, 2016  |  Category:

RDO Integrated Controls Helps Power DroneFocus Conf 2016

RDO Integrated Controls Helps Power DroneFocus Conf 2016

Last summer, 130 attendees gathered at the Fargo Jet Center for Fargo’s first annual Drone Focus Conference.

This year, the event is expected to double in attendance and will gather professionals and enthusiasts together to learn and share insight on the UAV industry on June 1st at The Stage at Island Park near Downtown Fargo.

RDO Integrated Controls, the technology division of RDO Equipment Co., is on board once again and helping power this year’s event as a premier sponsor.

Why You Should Attend
According to Emerging Prairie, the group who organizes the DroneFocus Conference, attendees can expect a full day devoted to learning, interacting, and playing. 

  • Learn: Experts in cyber security, aeronautics, autonomous vehicles, access spectrum and more lined up to drop some knowledge. The content varies from 3 minutes talks to no longer than 20 minutes, so you’ll be getting a buffet line of information throughout the day.
  • Interact: You will not spend this conference sitting in a chair. Break periods are woven throughout the event, intentionally so that attendees can meet who’s in the room and learn from each other.
  • Play: What’s the point of a drone conference without getting some hands-on drone action? This year, plans are in the works for a build-a-drone section, and live demonstrations of drone inventions by students from across the world.

What You Can Expect from RDO Integrated Controls
In the world of UAVs, our portfolio of products and systems are designed to create a more efficient and productive workflow for our customers. We’re excited to bring industry experts as part of the day’s lineup:

  • Matthew Hayes, Mapping Product Supervisor, RDO Integrated Controls: Matthew and his team at RDO Integrated Controls are dedicated to helping clients successfully utilize innovative mapping and UAV technology. At DroneFocus Conf, Matthew will highlight a brand new research project focused on renewable energy and civil application for UAVs.
  • Baptiste Tripard, Managing Director, senseFly:  Baptiste manages the distribution of SenseFly products in North America and is heavily involved in research and testing to bring new technology to market.  Baptiste will provide a high level overview of the UAV industry and what will be coming to market in the near future.
  • Jim Frank, President, ComAgUAS: Jim is the President of ComAgUAS. ComAgUAS exists to promote the professional use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in commercial and agriculture operations though leadership, certification, and advocacy. Jim will be discussing the role of this new trade association as well as its focus on operator’s certification and safety in this emerging sector.

We invite you to spend the day with us, focused on drones. Click here to purchase tickets, learn more about the presenters, and view the full agenda.

You can also check out a podcast, featuring an interview with Emerging Prairie's Greg Tehven talking drones, entreprenuers, and DroneFocus Conf. Take a listen.

Hope to see you there.


May 17, 2016  |  Category:

Want High Quality Road Construction? Here’s Why Intelligent Compaction is the Answer

Want High Quality Road Construction? Here’s Why Intelligent Compaction is the Answer

When it comes to roadway construction, compaction is one of the most important processes. It’s important in order to achieve high quality and uniformity of pavement materials. And focusing the right resources and effort on getting that high quality and uniformity ensures long-lasting performance in the long run. This can be done through intelligent compaction technology.

Intelligent Compaction 101
Intelligent compaction (IC) uses modern vibratory rollers equipped with an integrated measurement system, an onboard computer reporting system, GPS based mapping, and other optional feedback. This technology facilitates real-time compaction monitoring so that compaction of road materials like soil, aggregate bases, or asphalt pavement materials can be completely compacted.

5 Benefits of Using Intelligent Compaction
If you want to make every pass count when you’re working on your compacting project. Intelligent compaction technology allows you to do just that. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Reduced Variability: In order to ensure adequate support, ability, and strength, pavement needs to be compacted to optimum densities. IC improves the in-depth density of pavement materials, reducing variability of measured density. This ultimately allows for long-lasting roadways.
  • Improved Productivity and Depth: Since intelligent compaction systems are designed to operate at the best effort possible, compaction is much more efficient. This means fewer roller passes and better results. IC also stands above conventional rollers by using technology designed to optimize rollers’ compact effort, allowing for improved depth performance, too.
  • Reduced Cost of Repairs: Did you know that poor compaction is one of the biggest factors in premature pavement failure? Poor compaction practices also significantly raise highway repair costs. By using intelligent compaction technology, contractors minimize repairs and improve overall pavement performance, making the investment last longer in the long run.
  • Smart Stiffness Measurement: To get the most effective compaction possible, IC measures stiffness during the compaction process. This means contractors have instant identification of weak areas and can avoid harmful over-compaction and other errors.
  • Real-Time Identification: Individuals can easily use IC to identify weak spots or defective projects. With this identification and real-time information, users have the opportunity to make quick decisions during the compaction process, and informed choices for next steps.

Intelligent Compaction Made Easy
A good compacting job isn’t as easy to achieve as some people think. But with the correct equipment and technology, you can implement your own IC system in no time. At RDO Integrated Controls, our Topcon compaction and tracking system provides real-time pass graphic visibility so you have increased quality and efficiency, pass registration and visualization, and combine compaction and the site production data you need.

Ready to increase your productivity for your road construction project? Check out more information on Topcon compaction and tracking system products.


May 10, 2016  |  Category:

Processed Flight Data Formats. Part 2: 2D

Processed Flight Data Formats. Part 2: 2D

What’s what, and what is it for?

Welcome to part 2 of our 3 part series on Pix4D and PostFlight Terra 3D digital outputs. In this segment, we will take a look at the “2D” outputs available. We are blurring the line between 2D&3D since a few of these are displayed on a 3D object and they all describe a 3D space. The key difference is that these do not inherently contain visible elevation data. As mentioned in Part 1:3D, we invite you to use this short series of articles as a starting point for expanding your photogrammetry processing potential.

Part 1: 3D 3DPDF, DSM/DTM, Mesh, Point Cloud, Contours
Part 2: 2D: GEO Tiff, KML/HTML, Map Box, Index Maps
Part 3: Animations and Triangulations: MPV, AVI, CSV

Part 2: 2D: GEO Tiff, KML/HTML, Map Box, Index Maps

GEO Tiff A standard “Tiff” image which includes geospatial data. The potential for the geospatial data in this file can be used for map projections, coordinate systems, and everything necessary to be an exact spatial reference. GEO Tiffs can be used to make accurate measurements between objects within the image and can represent exact position on a geospatial plane. GEO Tiffs generally contain a straight down “Nadir” view and are not used for elevation measurements. Warning: Pay attention when saving a GEO Tiff with a standard image processing tool like Photoshop. This could erase the metadata geospatial information and render your GEO Tiff  a basic Tiff. You can create DSM and OrthoMosaic GEO Tiffs in the level three Local Processing options menu.

KML/HTML You can Share KMLs using map apps like Google Earth online. KML stands for Keyhole Markup language. Once loaded into Google Earth, a KML sticks to the surface of the earth and displays the same way the Google satellite data does and in the geographically correct location, but it is much more crisp and detailed than Google’s satellite imagery. Once loaded, you may add layers of poly lines, markers, make measurements, etc. An HTML version is also created when you choose to make Google Tiles. An HTML displays your data in the 2D Google Maps platform in a web browser. Generate KMLs and HTML files in the level three Local Processing options.

Map Box is powerful online mapping visualization tool. Consider Map Box to be your custom Google Earth that includes your own branding and layered maps. This program has a bit of a learning curve to get started but is very powerful for showing projects over time, seasonal agriculture NDVIs,etc. Map Box .mbtiles are generated in level three Local Processing.

Index Maps Used for visualization of agriculture data, thermal data, or otherwise invisible spectrum imagery. Index Maps can be generated as GEOTiff’s, .jpgs, KMLs, or .shp files, and are used to assign color sets to data for easier relative visualization of information. Bands of color represent data ranges like temperature or infrared reflectivity from plant life. Index maps are generated in level three Local Processing in the Index Map calculator panel.

Stay tuned for our final part in the series, Part 3: Animations and Triagulations. If you have any questions about photogrammetry or UAVs in general, don’t hesitate to contact the RDOIC team.


May 4, 2016  |  Category: