Planning a Drone Survey Mission: Airspace Restrictions Explained

When planning a drone survey mission, it is essential to take into consideration the airspace restrictions that may be in place. Drone pilots should always check the airspace they are in before taking off. Class G airspace (uncontrolled) is the most common type of airspace for drone operations, and pilots should fly at 400 feet or less in this type of airspace. Aerial mapping drones offer a great advantage over traditional measuring tools, as they can take off and fly almost anywhere. This means that inaccessible areas, steep and unsafe slopes, or hostile terrain are no longer an issue.

There is no need to close highways or train tracks, and data can be captured during operation without organizational overhead. To ensure a successful mission, it is important to review the airspace before takeoff. There are tools available to help verify what airspace you are in and, in some cases, request automatic authorization from Air Traffic Control through the LAANC system. When it comes to tower studies, there are many professional drones available that are a good option. During a drone study with an RGB camera, the floor is photographed several times from different angles and each image is labeled with coordinates. Before takeoff, it is important to check that the drone's battery and connected devices, such as tablets, are fully charged and that the memory card in the drone's camera has enough empty space to capture the entire project. Reconnaissance drones can generate high-resolution orthomosaics and detailed 3D models of areas where low-quality or outdated data is available.

During this step, the operator must ensure that no one approaches the drone during takeoff or landing and that the weather conditions remain optimal for the mission. Increasingly, surveys to determine what maintenance is needed are being carried out using drones. Aerial images taken by drones greatly accelerate and simplify topographic studies for land management and planning. In many tower inspection scenarios, a tower inspector or a team of inspectors will be present on site with the drone pilot. Orthomosaic and digital surface models created from aerial images taken by the WingtraOne topographic and cartographic drone can provide valuable insights into land management and planning. More than 50,000 students trust Drone Pilot Ground School, a training program managed by UAV Coach - the largest and most reputable online drone training academy in the SUA industry. Unlike other types of topography, where a drone pilot may be in the field with just one or two other members of the flight operations team, inspecting a tower is often a collaborative effort.

Drone inspections serve to reduce the amount of time personnel spend in the tower, increasing its efficiency and keeping it safe.