ON THE USE OF RPAS IN NATIONAL MAPPING – THE EUROSDR POINT OF VIEW
Keywords: RPAS, unmanned airborne platform, national mapping, EuroSDR
Abstract. Following the latest developments in Remotely Piloted Airborne Systems (RPAS) industry and attending some of the most prominent fairs related to the field of geomatics one easily recognizes that it is RPAS, which is strongly pushed into the civilian market. It really is of interest, if official authorities like National Mapping Agencies (NMAs) are starting to implement the RPASs technology within their specific data acquisition processes – to establish alternatives to their traditional manned photogrammetric survey flights. The European Spatial Data Research organization (EuroSDR), representing European NMAs and research organizations of currently 17 European states, is following UAV developments since end of 2004, where an ongoing activity was created, to continuously update their members on the developments in this technology. As systems consolidated, new impetus was given to more deeply explore the potential RPAS for national mapping. Today first national mapping agencies have already used RPAS based data for first experiments in mapping. Several NMAs are discussing on the future role of this technology within their agencies. This report will try to give an overview on the current situation on the use of RPAS in European mapping agencies. Based on the input from some selected NMAs, their expectations on RPAS technology, the fields of use they foresee in their countryspecific surroundings and – exemplarily – first experiences with this type of technology will be presented. Even though the use of RPAS in NMAs is still new, substantial technical and operational benefits become obvious already. With that, the paper will try to give a state-of-the-art report on the current activities and overall acceptance of RPAS technology in European photogrammetric mapping.