Six months ago we acquired a drone which now allows us to carry out aerial surveys of both large areas and also areas that are difficult to access from the ground.
Utilising a drone also reduces the time required to capture the data and consequently results in a very cost effective solution for many applications.
Scantech has a 15 year history of using laser scanning technology to provide accurate engineering and architectural deliverables and has applied this experience in producing similar deliverables for the drone or UAV surveys.
The difference between a Drone and a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)
Some would ague that there is no difference between the two terms however a drone is more synonymous with flying vehicles that in the past were used for target practice. In reality and for practical use there is no difference as “both” fly and are controlled by either a pilot or on a pre-programmed flight path. There is a push within the industry to try and standardise on the UAV terminology.
Benefits of using a UAV
By utilising our UAV with a high resolution camera we can carry out surveys of difficult to access areas and structures including :
- Open fields
- Building roofs
- Mobile phone masts
- Steel structures
The UAV can capture the data in a fraction of the time taken to survey similar facilities using traditional survey techniques with an EDM or terrestrial laser scanner and are therefore very cost effective.
Drone or UAV Topographical Surveys
We can capture large open areas using the high resolution camera on our Drone (or UAV).
The captured images are taken to our technical office where the digital images are transformed using specialist software into an overall pointcloud.
From the resulting pointcloud we can produce topographical drawings orientated to OS coordinates as we also utilise ground based surveying to accurately coordinate ground control points which are picked up by the UAV.
The Safety advantages of using a UAV
By using our UAV we can often eliminate working at height which is one of the main causes of accidents in the construction industry. We can also capture data that would normally require access via scaffolding or rope access with the attendant associated costs.
Flying a UAV obviously has it’s own safety protocols and our pilots have the necessary CAA certification and approvals to fly subject to approval from the local council or land owner.
There is a balance between working at height, cost and safety in carrying out surveys of roofs, towers, masts etc and the required accuracy. For an engineering deliverable using ground based surveying techniques we would normally quote better than ±5mm however we cannot achieve this with a drone survey.
If the required accuracy is ±20mm the drone survey is a cost effective solution and for roof details this in our experience is normally sufficient. For surveys of soft features ie fields the 20mm accuracy is again normally more than suitable.
As with traditional surveying using EDMs and laser scanners there are numerous deliverables that can be generated form a UAV survey :
- 2D drawings
- 3D models in a variety of formats (AutoCAD, Revit etc)
- Cross Sections
- Topographical drawings
- Elevational drawings etc
By combining the UAV survey with traditional surveying we can achieve suitable accuracies for both architectural and engineering requirements.
The output from an aerial survey can be used for :
- High level inspections
- Property and marketing
- Land surveys
- Topographic surveys
- Sporting events
- Festival planning
We have also a number of specialist applications – please Contact us for more details.