Unmanned Aerial Surveying: How Drones Revolutionize Land Surveys

Aerial surveys are a revolutionary way to survey land without having to cross difficult terrain on foot. Surveyors no longer have to worry about gophers and heavy equipment, or carry cumbersome total stations and scouts over rugged terrain. All they need to do is pre-plan their flight, set up the reconnaissance drone and deploy the mission from a secure area. When the mission is completed, the drone returns autonomously to the launch site, and the surveyor can then package it up and return to the office to process the images.

In a nutshell, a drone survey is an aerial survey conducted by a drone. Using sensors such as RGB or multispectral cameras, or LiDAR loads, drones can capture a large amount of data quickly. Aerial surveys combine sensors together with ground points and aerial targets suitable for topography to align the data with the ground precisely. Drone mapping is the process of inspecting an area of land with a UAV. An operator flies the drone over an area of land and takes hundreds of pictures as it moves.

Then, with the help of computer software, they join and superimpose the images, creating a model of the site. This process is also how drone photogrammetry works, and the end result is an accurate 3D representation of the area. From establishing the general slope of an area to creating detailed maps of every square meter, drone topography makes work easier, faster and safer for surveyors. Drone topography provides these workers with a revolutionary method for obtaining images and tracing construction sites. Surveying drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that fly over a defined area with sensors that point towards the ground. The benefits of drone topography cover many different sectors and provide an accurate method for inspecting and evaluating small or large areas of land.

Before drones had an impact on the field of topography, creating accurate maps or 3D models of large plots of land would take anywhere from days to weeks. Surveying drones, or autonomous aerial vehicles (UAVs), perform the same types of studies in a fraction of the time and, at the same time, keep staff safe. However, accuracy in the surveying industry doesn't have a single definition, and there are many different drone models available. Those working in industry can use drone topography to import images into computer-aided design (CAD) software to create accurate virtual models of developments. They use a drone study to assess the current characteristics of an area and then monitor changes over time. Drones are exceptionally useful for inspecting many different types of terrestrial sites and make it much easier for responsible parties to manage.

A reconnaissance drone with a high-resolution camera that flies at low altitudes and speeds can achieve incredibly accurate results. Once you're a licensed operator, you can use your drones to survey any area that the owners allow you to survey. Compared to surveys conducted with airplanes and helicopters, drones produce better results at a lower cost. Beyond companies looking to build and remodel land areas, there are still many uses for drone topography. Usually, the drone flies over the area following a predefined recognition pattern, taking overlapping photographs at intervals from various angles.

Most of the construction industry's reconnaissance drones aid in aerial planning, inventory management, topographic mapping, 3D reconstruction of sites, and monitoring of construction projects.