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16 March 2015

Trimble UX5 Captures Machu Picchu

In the Fall of 2014, Trimble had the opportunity to demonstrate the power of the Trimble UX5 Unmanned Aircraft System and our Trimble Business Center and Inpho UASMaster processing software at Machu Picchu in Peru. Machu Picchu is often regarded as one the worlds most recognized archeological sites. Constantly under the threat of weather and an increase in tourism, the preservation of this landmark is a growing concern. Capturing data from a fixed wing UAS would help the many organizations that govern and preserve the site to visualize and monitor the location.  

Getting to Machu Picchu is a challenge in itself. A 3.5 hour train ride from the city of Cusco takes you to almost 8,000 feet above sea level. The site experiences heavy rains known to wash away roads, but on our trip, the skies were clear and the wind was light. Access to Machu Picchu was arranged well in advance by our distribution partner Geosystems and the Ministry of Culture. The day of the flight, a small area on one of the terraces was cleared of tourists (but not local llamas) for the flight. Two flights were conducted at 120 m and 100 m for enhanced data. Trimble, Geosystems as well as local archaeologists and surveyors from the Ministry of Culture attended the flight which went off without any challenges.

With the flight complete, Trimble and Geosystems went to work processing the data immediately in Trimble Business Center and Inpho UASMaster. Trimble Business Center allows the data to be quickly processed into high-quality point clouds and orthophotos while Inpho UASMaster offers feature rich photogrammetry workflows. 

 

 

 

The next day, Trimble and Geosystems presented orthophotos and a 3D point cloud model. The data was greatly appreciated and Trimble hopes to return in the near future for additional flights.

 

UX5 Peru Takeoff

UX5 Peru Landing

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