Aerial Surveys And Their Benefits

Drones...I’m sure you are familiar with them and have seen them in action, whether in person or on the screen. Commonly seen as toys, only useful for pretty pictures.In the right hands, drone surveys provide a large number of possibilities and uses, particularly in the construction industry, where they are used to solve a number of problems, including aerial surveying and site monitoring.

Drones...I’m sure you are familiar with them and have seen them in action, whether in person or on the screen. Commonly seen as toys, only useful for pretty pictures.

In the right hands, drone surveys provide a large number of possibilities and uses, particularly in the construction industry, where they are used to solve a number of problems, including aerial surveying and site monitoring.

We are here to talk about aerial surveying and the benefits in which this can offer you and your businesses. But before that, we need to ask the question: “What is aerial surveying?”


What Is An Aerial Survey?

An aerial survey more commonly referred to as a ‘drone survey’ in simple terms, is a collection of images from the air using an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) or ‘drone’.

We use high resolution cameras or other advanced sensors to collect detailed and accurate images and data.

Capturing data from the air can be quicker, safer and less intrusive than using traditional methods and allows us to access areas that are too difficult or dangerous otherwise.

Depending on who you are talking to, a ‘survey’ can mean different things.

To a building surveyor, an aerial survey can be the inspection of a building, block or structure.

To a land surveyor or site engineer, an aerial survey can be the topographic survey of a site or parcel of land, commonly known as ‘mapping’.


How Accurate Is An Aerial Survey?

Whilst we can say that our aerial surveys are accurate and can be narrowed down to a cm difference, it does all depend on the equipment you are using and its application as to whether the data will be accurate or not.

Not only do you need the correct equipment for you to collect accurate data, but you also need to understand the process of accumulating all the data necessary.

It is a terrible feeling to be relying on a data capture method, only to realise halfway through that something has been missed out or there was something wrong in the initial process.

This occurrence will not only be greatly frustrating but would also lead to wasted time, project delays and potentially financial loss.


What Is Mapping With A Drone?

Mapping an area with a drone consists of an aerial survey using a drone with specialised cameras or sensors, which may include RGB(photogrammetry), multispectral, thermal or LiDAR sensors. These cameras are used to carry out an aerial survey, gathering of data very rapidly and with a high degree of precision.

If you have decided that you would like a drone to carry out your mapping, you can expect the data to get back to you much quicker than a traditional method and it has been shown than drone mapping can be up to 90% quicker than the traditional methods.

As well as receiving your data much quicker, using a drone is also much safer and less of a risk factor. This will require no working at heights or over any unsafe footing. This means that you are keeping your members of staff safe and putting their well being first.

Because your site is be surveyed by drone, minimal disruptions will be caused to the site and work can continue as usual.

Once the drone has completed its flight and collected all the data which is required, it will be processed through software to create the basic outputs from which accurate data can be obtained and more advanced outputs created.

This can be finalised as either a 2D or 3D model or CAD drawing, or a digital elevation model. From this model, you will then be able to obtain measurements, volumes calculations in preparation for your project.

As built surveys, clash against design and progress monitoring are all possible, quickly, using drone data.


What Are The Benefits Of Drones In Surveying?

When drones are spoke about across different industries,there are so many benefits which follow them. Some of these benefits follow them across the board, including:


1.     Time Efficient


This benefit applies to drones in relation to most industries – but construction is especially prevalent. Whether they are being used to complete an inspection or a survey, you can be confident that your time spent collecting this data will be shortened drastically.  

The versatility of drones allows for large areas to be covered in a short amount of time. For example 40ha can be collected within a couple of hours, including ground control, all to RICS survey standards.

A large building can be inspected quickly, without the need to arrange for scaffolding or mobile working platforms.


2.     Cost Saving


Drone surveys can be much more affordable as you are not having to pay for or for a team of surveyors to be on site.

Surveyors can spend less time struggling to collect data and more time focused on the inspection or survey itself, often working with the data remotely.

Most drones surveys are non intrusive and so the site can continue to function as normal, there is very minimal disruption.

Prior to drones coming into action, a traditional survey would have required part of your site, if not all your site, to temporarily close whilst this was carried out.

This meant you would be losing on time which could set you back in the project and lead to a loss in money. Drones remove this issue altogether!


3.     Health and Safety: Reduce Risk


In contaminated, risky, or sensitive areas, drones are perfect tools for gathering data because they pose only a minimum risk not only to the surveying professional who is controlling the drone but also to the general public.

All of the data can be simply collected from the air, and there are just a few health and safety considerations involved.

This cuts down on the amount of time spent planning and eliminates the need for comprehensive considerations about health and safety,resulting in a speedier turnaround for the project as a whole, reducing risk in the project.


4.     Hard to reach areas


Drones make it far simpler than ever before to access difficult to reach areas.

Drones may easily get access to towers, masts, rooftops, large or complex structures, and wind turbines with the help of a pre-planned flight path or the abilities of an expert pilot.

All without working at height, no scaffolding or platforms yet yielding highly detailed and accurate data.


Can Drones Help Your Surveying Business?

Aerial surveys or drone surveys are becoming increasingly popular. Time on site is reduced, data is delivered quickly and risk reduced both on site and within the project.

Because drone surveys are quicker and cost effective, they can be easily repeated at a greater frequency than traditional methods.

Buildings are being surveyed on a bi annual basis. Sites are being surveyed weekly or monthly,providing updated data to the project team enabled decisions to be made quickly, keeping projects on track and reducing the chance of costly mistakes.

When thinking about using drones,  make sure that you are using a registered, qualified and insured drone operator.

Get in touch today to receive your free no-obligation quote or to discuss your project.

Whether you’re a building surveyor, land surveyor, site engineer or quantity surveyor, there is a use case where drone surveys can provide a considerable benefit.

If you are a surveying business and you are interested in starting your own drone program,please reach out, we’re happy to talk through the process and requirements. Its not as simple as ‘chucking the drone up. There is a considerable investment in training, equipment and software.

DroneWorks are excited to be offering these innovative drone survey services to our clients and proving the benefits that they can bring to projects taking advantage of them!