Find out how drones can transform your surveying missions:
Drones massively increase safety. Why send yourself up to inspect a roof or clamber over a stockpile when a drone can do the job for you?
Using drones for survey work also means that you do not need to put out as many ground control points - in some cases, you don't need any. Not only is this a great time-saver, it is also a huge safety benefit, reducing the need for staff to access potentially dangerous areas of your job site.
Balfour Beatty drone pilot Wayne Hughes said: “Drones make it safer to gain quantities and stockpile measurements. Drones take people away from places where they could be in harm’s way and it means that we haven’t got people climbing over stockpiles. Instead, the drones can fly over the site and generate a model afterwards, which we can review in the office.”
More Efficient And Cheaper
Capturing data with a drone is much quicker than using on-the-ground techniques and requires less manpower. Using RTK (real-time kinematic) or PPK (post-processed kinematic) technology also saves you the arduous and sometimes dangerous task of placing a large number of ground control points.
For example, Balfour Beatty used drones on a Smart Motorway development, including measuring stockpiles. The firm said that it would take a surveyor, using traditional handheld equipment, about a day to measure the stockpiles and process the data. But using the drone, the compound could be flown in 15 minutes and the model could be processed in about two hours.
Using drones means you deliver your survey results faster and, as a result, at a lower cost.
Russell Byrd, Virtual Design and Construction Coordinator at Brasfield & Gorrie, said: "Our project and safety teams can now complete walkthroughs remotely — increasing safety and awareness without ever having to step on site."
Reach Inaccessible Places
Drones can reach places that humans can’t. They can also fly at a much lower altitude, compared to manned aircraft or satellite imagery. This is a particular advantage if you have cloud cover.
Highly-accurate Data Which Can Be Shared
Drones collect highly-accurate data.
One drone flight produces thousands of measurements, which can be represented in different formats (orthomosaic, point cloud, DTM, DSM, contour lines, etc). Each pixel of the produced map or point of the 3D model contains 3D geo-data.
Crucially, this information can be stored and shared quickly, which helps with decision-making and team-wide communication.
Monitor Progress Of A Job Site And Improve Asset Productivity
Drones provide a bird’s-eye view of a site, giving a complete snapshot of the area and offering useful insights.
Carrying out regular flights across a project allows your team to monitor progress and identify any mistakes or problems. Crucially, these issues can be spotted early, helping you make rapid and informed decisions.
Drones give a unique view, which you would not get from the ground, and are able to cover an area quicker and safer than traditional on-the-ground methods.
Matthew Forster, Project Engineer for Choate Construction, said: "Drone maps give my team a bird’s eye view of the site, which looks a lot different than being on the ground. It gives them a full picture."