On-site Demonstration of Topographic Surveying Techniques at Open-pit Mines using a Fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone)

고정익 무인항공기(드론)를 이용한 노천광산 지형측량 기술의 현장실증

Lee, Sungjae;Choi, Yosoon

  • Received : 2015.12.07
  • Accepted : 2015.12.16
  • Published : 2015.12.31


This study performed an on-site demonstration of the topographic surveying technique at a large-scale open-pit limestone mine in Korea using a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, Drone, SenseFly eBee). 288 sheets of aerial photos were taken by an automatic flight for 30 minutes under conditions of 300 m altitude and 12 m/s speed. Except for 37 aerial photos in which no keypoint was detected, 251 aerial photos were utilized for data processing including correction and matching, then an orthomosaic image and digital surface model with 7 cm grid spacing could be generated. A comparison of the X, Y, Z-coordinates of 4 ground control points measured by differential global positioning system and those determined by fixed-wing UAV photogrammetry revealed that the root mean squared errors were around 15 cm. Because the fixed-wing UAV has relatively longer flight time and larger coverage area than rotary-wing UAVs, it can be effectively utilized in large-scale open-pit mines as a topographic surveying tool.


Drone;Unmanned aerial vehicle;Photogrammetry;Digital surface model;Orthomosaic image


  1. ASPRS, 1989, ASPRS INTERIM ACCURACY STANDARDS FOR LARGE-SCALE MAPS, American Society of Photogrammetric and Remote Sensing, Vol. 55, pp. 1038-1940.
  2. Cho, S.J., Bang, E.S., Kang, I.M., 2015, Construction of Precise Digital Terrain Model for Nonmetal Open-pit Mine by Using Unmanned Aerial Photograph, Economic and Environmental Geology, Vol. 48, No. 3, 205-212.
  3. Cryderman, C., Bill Mah, S. and Shuflertoski, A., 2014, Evaluation of UAV Photogrammetric accuracy for mapping and earthworks computations, GEOMATICA, Vol. 68, No. 4, 309-317.
  4. Jung, S.H., Lim, H.M., Lee, J.K., 2009, Analysis of the Accuracy of the UAV Photogrammetric Method using Digital Camera, J. of the Korean Society of Surveying, Geodesy, Photogrammetry and Cartography, Vol. 27, No. 6, 741-747.
  5. Lee, S., Choi, Y., 2015, Topographic survey at small-scale Open-pit Mines using a Popular Rotary-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(Drone), TUNNEL & UNDERGROUND SPACE, Vol. 25, No. 5, 462-469.
  6. Siebert, S. and Teizer, J., 2014, Mobile 3D mapping for surveying earthwork projects using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(UAV) system, Automation in Construction, Vol. 41, 1-14.
  7. Turner, D., Lucieer, A. and Watson, C., 2012, An automated technique for generating georectified mosaics from ultra-high resolution unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery based on structure from motion (SfM) point clouds, Remote Sensing, Vol. 4, No. 5, 1392-1410.
  8. Uysal, M., Toprak, A.S. and Polat, N., 2015, DEM generation with UAV Photogrammetry and accuracy analysis in Sahitler hill, Measurement, Vol. 73, 539-543.
  9. Wang, Q., Wu, L., Chen, S., Shu, D., Xu, Z., Li, F. and Wang, R., 2014, Accuracy Evaluation of 3D Geometry from Low-Attitude UAV Images:A Case Study at Zijin Mine, Proc. of 4th International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, ISPRS, Suzhou, China, May 14-16, 297-300.

Cited by

  1. Reviews of unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) technology trends and its applications in the mining industry vol.19, pp.4, 2016,
  2. Estimation of Reservoir Area and Capacity Curve Equation using UAV Photogrammetry vol.24, pp.3, 2016,
  3. Comparison of Topographic Surveying Results using a Fixed-wing and a Popular Rotary-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone) vol.26, pp.1, 2016,
  4. Mapping hazardous mining-induced sinkhole subsidence using unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) photogrammetry vol.76, pp.4, 2017,
  5. A New GIS-Based Algorithm to Support Initial Transmitter Layout Design in Open-Pit Mines vol.11, pp.11, 2018,
  6. Comparison of Communication Viewsheds Derived from High-Resolution Digital Surface Models Using Line-of-Sight, 2D Fresnel Zone, and 3D Fresnel Zone Analysis vol.7, pp.8, 2018,


Grant : 광물자원 탐사.개발

Supported by : 한국연구재단