Inspection Software

Novarum Sky developed the innovative software EtherCopter for inspection services and professional aerial photography with UAVs. 

 

Novarum Sky developed the innovative software EtherCopter for inspection services and professional aerial photography carried out with UAVs. The EtherCopter Inspect Basics run on embedded Raspberry PI technology which is installed into the UAV and HTML5 technology for configuration and operation by pilot or cameraman / inspector. This software enables detailed and complex inspection services combined with the total control of the camera as e.g. the CANON DSLR via Virtual USB. This special unique selling point allows increased efficiency and exact photos and results, because the Virtual USB equips the camera man at the ground to adjust the camera during the inspection up in the air and to transmit the photos as well as the videos in real time to the ground.

Additionally, our solution includes a Web Interface to access the Full HD Video without the need of installing the software. Furthermore, the EtherCopter Software provides a Voice Communication system (VoIP Communication) from minimum two voice connections between the pilot of the UAV and the cameraman or inspector up to an unlimited number of connections via local network or internet.

We have designed our software in different licence options to offer the possibility to our clients to choose the best solution for their individual and specific needs. In this way, additional Virtual USBs, HD videos, VoIP Communication connections and remote controls can be added without requiring new hardware to fulfill the customer's desires. Furthermore, we provide a quick customization according to our client's needs.

Another special tool is provided by our software EtherCopter Inspect Report and enables to write a report during the aerial inspection. With this new application, a complete and very detailed aerial inspection of one power tower is feasible within 15 minutes: 1440 georeferenced photos are taken during 8 minutes of flight while 7 minutes for takeoff and landing are expected. Furthermore, the evaluation of photos to identify defects and the mail of the created record are included in the calculation. Without these features of EtherCopter Inspect Report, the inspection time per power tower can be around 30 to 40 minutes for each.

Additional Licences:

Conventional Digital HD transmitter video systems generally do not allow new functions or add more video access through new software licenses, and hardware upgrades are required. Through additional licenses the EC VDL FULL HD Video System allows you to add more access to videos, voice communication channels and Virtual USB ports accessed on the ground without the need to make any changes to the hardware. In addition new features can be added such as reporting system for industrial inspection, EC Inspect and other applications that will be available to order in the future.

HD IP Video Downlink:

HD IP Video Downlink is the transmission of digital video in real time through IP protocol. It has many advantages over conventional HD Video downlink, some examples:

  • allows easy access to HD video over the Internet.
  • access to HD video is done by tablets, smartphones through Browser interface, so there is no need to install new applications or purchase additional hardware.
  • allows you to record HD video on the ground without the need to add new hardware.

Virtual USB:

Virtual USB technology is not available on other HD digital video systems for Drones. Virtual USB technology has been made available on Drones via the EtherCopter Inspect Basic, that run on the Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 computer coupled to the Drone, allowing any device with USB port connected to the USB port of Raspberry Pi to communicate transparently and full with computers on the ground using the application compatible with the USB device. Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 computers have 4 USB ports so it is possible to upgrade EtherCopter Inspect Basic to simultaneously connect and use up to 4 USB devices in Raspberry Pi 2 or 3.

An example of application is the installation of the CANON DSLR camera on the Drone by connecting the USB port of the camera to the USB port of the Raspberry Pi and being able to control all functions of the camera on the ground using the Canon EOS Utility application, so the professional photographer can view the Video in real time and make all the necessary adjustments for your photos and download the photo without having to land the Drone, gaining in quality and productivity in your service.

VoIP Communication:

In professional applications in inspection and aerial photography usually the pilot of the Drone and the controller of the camera is necessary and an effective communication between the professionals. Current HD Video downlink systems do not provide voice communication and usually the best position of the pilot is different from the cameraman on ground, plus for services in isolated areas usually the cell phone service does not work well, but satellite internet service works anywhere. With this in mind, the EtherCopter Inspect Basic software allows two or more VoIP voice communication channels to be available to allow the Drone pilot the camera operator / inspector and even another remote professional to talk to each other to make the service more effective.

Gimbal Control:

The control of the direction of the gimbal in the three axes is possible with the VDL FULL HD Video System plus the EtherCopter Inspect Control license in UAV with flight control Mikrokopter, being the direction YAW is turning the UAV in the second remote control (ergonomic Gamepad) used by the cameraman. There are two major advantages of the EtherCopter Inspect Control license:

        1) It allows use of a second remote control more ergonomic, easy to use and cheap for the cameraman
        2) Allows fine control on gimbal tilt with push button, very useful when the camera is with optical zoom above 10x

Report:

In general, the industrial inspection services are done in two stages: step 1 - in the field are made videos and photos of the structures inspected and step 2 - in the office are made analysis of the videos and photos for generation of the report. During the generation of the report it is often perceived that the images were not enough and then the need to return to step 1 may occur. With the additional EC Inspect Report license it is possible to do all the inspection work during the time of video recording and photos, so it is not necessary to make the report in the office, saving time and greatly increasing productivity. Furthermore, it increases the guarantee that the images were sufficient for decision making during the moment of the inspection.

Telemetry:

Telemetry:The EC VDL FULL HD Video System plus the EC RC 01 license allow you to collect all major flight data in real time. Information such as the placement of the UAV during the time of the video and photos are used for the inspection report available through the EC Inspect license.

Camera Control:

Camera Control:"The control of the camera installed in the UAV can be done in two ways with the EC VDL FULL HD Video System:

      • Using flight controller and MULTI / LANC controller Mikrokopter plus license EC RC 01 - allows zoom control, movie recording and photo shooting
      • Using Virtual USB - allows to do any remote operation on the camera available via USB port and using the camera's own application on the computer on the ground or via the Internet."""

Flight Control System:

Flight Control System: The EC VDL FULL HD Video System is compatible with all UAV flight controllers because to operate it does not need to connect to the flight control. For control of gimbal it is necessary to add second license EC RC 01 to operate with the Mikrokopter compatible flight control. In the future new licenses will be available to operate with other systems and gimbals

Range:

Distance between UAV and radio. (Radio includes transmission of voice, video, control, telemetry). Without internet connection: around 1000m; with internet connection: unlimited  

Download