Drones are not just the future of aerial photography. In the past decade, drone surveys have transformed the way we survey our world. Aerial surveys have quickly become a game-changer in the surveying industry because they are faster, safer, and less expensive ways to get accurate data. This data collection is limitless with custom UAV and camera technology.
But what exactly are the benefits of drone surveys?
Drone survey offer many benefits over traditional surveying methods. One of the main advantages is that they are faster, more cost-effective, and safer than land based methods. Drone pilots can conduct aerial surveys that cover large areas at a fraction of the cost of traditional helicopter surveys to do the same job.
Here are some of the key benefits of using drone surveys for your next project:
- Speed and Efficiency: Drones can cover large areas quickly and efficiently, making them ideal for surveying jobs that require a fast turnaround time.
- Safety: Drones can be used for land surveys that are hazardous or difficult to access, such as construction sites or natural disaster zones.
- Accuracy: A drone survey can provide highly accurate data with a level of detail that is not possible with traditional surveying methods.
- Cost-Effective: Aerial surveys are typically less expensive than traditional surveying methods, as they require fewer personnel and less equipment.
Improving Accuracy with Drone Technology:
Drone technology has revolutionized the way we approach surveying, and one of the key advantages is the ability to provide more accurate data.
Here are the advantages of drone technology improves surveying accuracy:
Drones equipped with ultra-high-resolution 6K cameras provide surveyors with the ability to capture highly detailed images and videos of the survey area, which results in improved accuracy. This is achieved through a higher pixel density in the images, which maximises the overall accuracy of aerial surveys. One of the key factors that resolution affects is the Ground Sample Distance (GSD).
Essentially, GSD refers to the distance between the center of two adjacent pixels as measured on the ground. The greater the pixel density, the higher the accuracy of the aerial survey. This measurement is essential when it comes to accurate measurements. A high GSD means lower accuracy and a shorter project time, while a lower GSD will result in greater accuracy but more data to process and longer survey times. Therefore, it is important to strike a balance between accuracy and efficiency when initially planning a drone mapping project.
Ultra-high-resolution 6k cameras enable surveyors to capture data with a low GSD value, which results in improved accuracy and a more detailed understanding of the survey area.
A higher GSD can result in difficulties locating the center point or edge of a feature, resulting in inaccuracies that can add up over large areas and cause costly errors in volumetric or land survey area measurements.
This error duplicated over a large area can be a costly mistake. This is why it’s important to work with a professional drone survey service.
Real-Time Data Correction
Real-time data correction is another way that aerial survey drones improve surveying accuracy. Drones can be equipped with RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) technology, which allows for highly accurate GPS positioning. RTK technology works by using a base station and a rover. The base station receives signals from GPS satellites and calculates its position. It then sends correction signals to the rover, which corrects any errors in its GPS position.
During the survey process, the drone can transmit the data it collects to a ground station in real time. Surveyors can then use this data to make any necessary corrections while the survey is ongoing, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring that the data collected is accurate. This also allows surveyors to quickly and easily identify any discrepancies or issues with the survey data, and make corrections as needed.
Using RTK and base station technology, unmanned aerial vehicles can achieve sub-centimeter-level survey accuracy, making them ideal for surveying projects that require a high degree of precision.
Advanced Drone Payload Sensors
Surveyors to collect a wide variety of data types by equipping drones with advanced sensors and changing their payloads to meet the needs of the survey results. These can include cameras, LIDAR technology, thermal imaging cameras, and even drone crop spraying equipment.
LIDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and it uses lasers to send out pulses of light that bounce off surfaces and return to the sensor. By measuring the time it takes for the light to travel and return, LIDAR can create highly accurate detailed models of the survey area. These models can be used for creating Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and Digital Surface Models (DSM), perfect for contour line creation and slope monitoring in dense vegetation. LIDAR is often used in forestry to penetrate the dense canopies of trees and provide accurate data on the forest’s vertical structure, tree height, and canopy density.
Thermal imaging cameras, when integrated with drones, can capture images that detect differences in temperature that may not be visible with the naked eye. These temperature differences can be used to identify potential issues with buildings or infrastructure, such as leaks or inefficiencies in insulation. By using drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras, surveyors can quickly and efficiently identify these issues, which can help businesses and organizations save money on repairs and improve energy efficiency.
Heavy lift drones can also carry payloads of up to 200 kg, allowing for larger or more specialised sensors to be used for the survey. Ultimately, this flexibility and range of options in drone payloads can provide surveyors with a more detailed and accurate picture of the survey area.
Georeference Flight Paths
Georeferenced flight paths are an essential feature of drone surveys. These flight paths are pre-programmed before the drone is sent to the survey site, and the drone will follow the exact path every time it is flown over the site. This is particularly useful for projects that require ongoing monitoring, such as topographic data or urban planning, as it enables the surveyor to capture the progression of the site over time. With this technology, the drone can provide accurate and consistent data, making it an ideal tool for surveying professionals looking to improve their operations.
Cost Benefits of Drone Surveying:
Compared to traditional methods such as helicopter surveys, using drones for surveying can offer huge cost benefits. Helicopter surveys often require extensive planning and come with hefty costs, while drones provide a more efficient and cost-effective alternative.
Here are the benefits survey drones bring to save businesses and organizations money:
Lower Equipment and Labor Costs:
One of the main cost benefits of using drones for surveying is that it requires less equipment and labor. Traditional surveying methods often require expensive equipment and a larger workforce to complete the survey. However, with drones, the equipment needed is less costly, and a smaller team is required to operate them. This can lead to significant cost savings for businesses and organizations.
Drone surveying also leads to increased productivity, which can result in cost savings. Drones can cover a larger area in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional surveying methods. This means that businesses and organizations can complete surveys more quickly and move on to other tasks, leading to higher productivity and cost savings.
Reduced Time and Resource Requirements:
Another way that drone surveying can save businesses and organizations money is by reducing the time and resource requirements for the survey. Traditional surveying methods can be time-consuming and require a lot of resources to complete.
However, drones can complete surveys more efficiently, which reduces the need for additional resources and time. This ultimately leads to cost savings for businesses and organizations.
Drone Surveys Reduce Safety Concerns:
One of the key advantages of using drones for surveying is their ability to access areas that are difficult or dangerous for surveyors to reach. Here are some of the benefits of using drones for surveying in these situations:
Access to Hard-to-Reach Places:
Drones can easily access areas that are difficult or impossible for surveyors to reach, such as steep slopes, rugged terrain, or areas with limited access. This makes it possible to collect data from areas that may have been previously overlooked or too dangerous to access.
Additionally, drones can be used to survey areas affected by natural disasters, such as landslides or floods, where it may not be safe for surveyors to go.
Reduced Risk of Injury or Loss of Life
Using drones for surveying also reduces the risk of injury or loss of life in dangerous environments. Surveying can be a hazardous job, particularly in areas with steep slopes or unstable ground. However, by using drones, surveyors can safely collect data without putting themselves at risk. This is particularly beneficial in hazardous environments such as mines, where drones can be used to survey areas that are dangerous for humans to access.
In addition to reducing the risk of injury or loss of life, drone surveying provides a safer option for data collection in hazardous areas. Surveying with drones can be done remotely, which means that surveyors do not need to enter hazardous environments to collect data.
This makes the surveying process safer and reduces the risk of accidents or injuries that can occur with traditional surveying methods.
Speeding Up the Survey Process with Drones:
One of the major advantages of using drones for surveying is that they can significantly speed up the survey process.
Here are some of the key ways that drone surveying can save time and increase efficiency:
Rapid Data Collection:
Drones can cover large areas in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional surveying methods. This means that businesses and organizations can collect survey data more quickly and efficiently, saving time and resources. With drones, surveyors can rapidly collect a large amount of data in a short period of time, which can be used to create detailed 3D models and maps.
Real-Time Data Processing:
Drones can transmit data in real-time, enabling surveyors to make necessary adjustments and corrections on the spot. This real-time data processing can speed up the survey process and reduce the need for additional surveys or corrections after the fact. Surveyors can immediately identify any discrepancies or issues with the survey data, and make adjustments as needed.
Drones equipped with mapping tools can automate the land survey process, further speeding up the data collection and analysis. Mapping software can be used to create automated flight plans, which enable surveyors to survey the entire area quickly and efficiently. Additionally, onboard mapping tools can automatically stitch together data to create detailed maps and 3D models of the survey area, reducing the need for additional processing and analysis after the survey is complete.
In conclusion, drone surveying offers many advantages over traditional surveying methods. Drones provide faster, more cost-effective, and safer data collection and processing, which can significantly improve surveying accuracy.
UK’s Leading Commercial Drone Service
Skykam is a UK-based drone company that specialises in providing drone inspection services for a wide range of industries. Our team of experienced drone pilots, engineers, and project managers are trained to deliver safe, efficient, and cost-effective aerial solutions that meet our clients’ needs.
We use advanced technologies, such as thermal imaging and lidar surveys, to provide accurate data and high-quality imagery for our clients. Our services include drone surveys, LiDAR mapping, videography, and topographic mapping. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your drone inspection needs.
Contact us to learn more about how we can assist with your drone inspection needs.