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PPK Processing Accuracy

Hi Community

I am new to PPK processing and would like to get a second opinion on my PPK results and workflow.

We flew a small area of 1sqkm to test our Powered Lift aircraft fitted with a modified Sony 5100 (Foxtech Map01 with 16mm Sony lens).

  1. Before flying, we marked out 7 GCPs in the area with a Leica GS18 GPS unit.

  2. We used RedCatch to process the aerial imagery and apply corrected geotags (in WGS84) from the Base and Rover logs.

  3. We processed Step 1 of this imagery (image input WGS84 and output GDA94 / MGA zone 56) in Pix4D, ensuring camera optimization and matching was all good.

  4. We imported GCPs (logged in GDA94 / MGA zone 56), changing all horizontal and vertical accuracies from 0.02 to 0.05 and marked 3x as 3D GCPs and 4x as Check Points, and Reoptimized.

  5. Quality report showed excellent accuracy as shown under “Ground Control Points” section. Link to report here:

  6. To verify this, we ran Step 2 and 3 and used the Point Cloud to generate a surface model in different software. We re-marked GCPs on this surface model - including some extra independent check points not used in the pix4d processing and measured the points in the model. Again, RMSE showed just 19mm error in X, 13mm in Y and 30mm in Z - similar to the accuracies in the Quality Report (and within our target range of 50mm).

We are concerned these results are too good to be true!! What we would like some reassurance on is:

  1. Does this workflow look correct for PPK processing?
  2. Are there any other measures of accuracy we could perform to prove the level of accuracy?
  3. Are we looking at the right metrics to judge the accuracy?

Perhaps this level of accuracy can be expected (and trusted) when using dual channel GNSS/survey-grade equipment?!

Many thanks!

I have a WingtraOne PPK with the Sony RX1RII 42mp camera. I consistently get vertical RMSE accuracies of 0.05-0.10 feet (1.5-3.0 cm) without GCPs. I don’t even bother to check horizontal accuracy anymore, because vertical is always 1-2x GSD, so horizontal will be at least as good, or better. So all I do is collect topo check points. No need for targets.

So yes, if you have good photogrammetric and surveying workflows, you will get great results with PPK every time.

Great to hear, thanks Andrew!

Hi Andrew I just purchased a Wingtra with the same camera. I am a land surveyor in Arkansas running ppk base using a trimble r 10 base. i get good ppk results after processing but i cannot for the life of me figure out why my checkpoints are not anywhere near the images. can you give me advice on the settings for input and output settings. my ellipsoid height in this area is about 93 feet below the orhto height(my msl ) in this area. thanks much.

Hi @andersonsurveying, when you mention that the GCPs are not near the images, are you referring to the vertical or horizontal offset?

Could you share a screenshot of the offset that you get?

In which coordinate system (horizontal and vertical) are the GCPs?


Andrew, I’m running an EBee but I want more accuracy. Have your run one? Are you a big fan of your wingtra? I’ve taken the second step to move to a base station but have wondered about PPK. Which do you think is better?

Tony, when you setup your base, what is the coordinate system that you are using?

I haven’t compared the Wingtra to an eBee, but I did compare it to a Delair UX-11, which is very similar to an eBee. I flew the same site at the same altitude with the same overlap using both aircraft. I processed both with Pix4DMapper using PPK data only, no GCPs. I compared the vertical accuracy of the DSM to 35 check points collected using RTK GPS. The vertical RMSe of the Wingtra was 0.086ft and the UX-11 was 0.153 feet.

So while the UX-11 was pretty good, the Wingtra was much better. I love my Wingtra.

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What height did you fly at? I’m running at 170 right now and I am .1’ and under. This is with a base station plugged into the computer. With that being said, do you think PPK is more accurate? Is there a more accurate copter setup on the market? I’m looking to push my accuracies up and take away some of the noise from the Pix4D processing so I can have a cleaner point cloud. I’m also looking to process smaller projects, 1-7 house lots without taking landing damage for such a small flight. I’m just not exactly sure on how to do all of that yet. Quad with higher res camera… More GCP’s. Base vs PPK. Thanks for your help! I’m sure you’ve been doing this over and over again until you’ve found what is working best and I’m looking for a little short cut by asking for your knowledge.

400 ft agl. All of my research indicates that PPK is slightly more accurate than RTK. Also, PPK does not require a real-time connection, so the field setup is easier.

For a good multi-rotor, I would also look at Micro Drones.