Drones have the ability to transform a number of industries, but there is no better example of the benefits drones provide than the mapping and surveying industry. Today’s drones provide a cost-effective and time-efficient method for collecting accurate geomatics data.
Whether this data is used to create topographic surveys or to carry out monitoring studies, the benefits drones bring to the table are obvious once you have a clear idea about the capabilities of these incredible devices. So in this post, we are going to look at how drones can be used to transform your surveying and mapping along with the services COPTRZ provide to help you get started.
Why drone surveying is set to take off
Traditional field surveys are labour-intensive exercises, taking a team of qualified surveyors weeks to carry out the necessary measurements in order to create accurate reports. The task is further complicated if the ground is inaccessible or contains hazards such as boreholes.
By carrying out aerial surveys with a drone, surveyors can significantly reduce the amount of time spent on site to a matter of minutes or hours. And because drones are ground controlled and fly over the land, accessibility problems are eliminated and the operator is not exposed to hazardous conditions.
In addition, drones are so easy to use they don’t have to be piloted by qualified surveyors to get accurate results. This allows the time-intensive exercise of gathering spatial data to be either outsourced or given to less qualified members of the team.
The quality of data captured is superior to traditional survey methods
The benefits of drones are not limited to reducing the amount of time required to capture data. Using traditional methods such as terrestrial and SUA-based photogrammetry, data is collected at a much lower spatial resolution than drone-based LiDAR or photogrammetry.
For example, a drone such as the Matrice 200 series can be equipped with a Zenmuse X5S camera for high definition data acquisition. This setup can generate point clouds using either LiDAR or photogrammetry to create survey-accurate 3D models with an overall 3D point accuracy of 0.055m (depending on conditions).
The gimbal mounted payloads of the Matrice 200 series also allow both upward and downward facing payloads to be fitted. For example, a multispectral/hyperspectral camera can be fitted alongside a traditional RGB camera to provide heterogeneous observations of the entire site.
The upward-facing camera of the Matrice 210 can also be used to survey difficult areas, such as the underside of structures or pylons. These areas are often out of reach using traditional methods, with specialist aerial contractors having to be appointed to capture the necessary data.
All of these advantages mean the Matrice 200 series is a useful addition to any surveyor’s equipment bag. It can be used to cost-effectively create high-resolution 3D models of terrain, even if that terrain is difficult to access or contains hazards. It reduces the amount of time spent on site and allows for more accurate 3D models to be created.
Can drone data be correlated for accuracy?
Any self-respecting surveyor will also be interested in quantifying the accuracy of any data collected. This can easily be achieved by implementing ground control points (GCPs) across the survey area. These are marked targets on the ground spaced strategically across the site.
To ensure accurate data collection, the coordinates of each GCP target need to be recorded with GPS. These coordinates are then used by the drone mapping software to position the map in relation to the world around them.
Best practice dictates that GCPs are used for any application that requires highly accurate drone data capture. Examples include the creation of a professional photogrammetric survey, or when combining data from other sources such as GIS vector data.
Matrice 200 Series offer
By now, you should be able to see the benefits that deploying a drone can have on the accuracy and efficiency of your surveying. But flying a drone commercially is not as easy as it sounds. If you want to operate a drone for commercial purposes, you will need to obtain a PfCO from the CAA.
That’s why, when you purchase a Matrice 200 Series drone from COPTRZ, we provide all the necessary training and support you need, FREE of charge. The support package and remote pilot training we provide alongside your drone are worth up to £3,000 if you were to purchase them separately.
The package includes:
2 x CAA PfCO training courses – The COPTRZ CAA approved training course will give you the knowledge and skills required to operate your drone in accordance with CAA regulations. You will also gain the knowledge required to apply for your PfCO (otherwise known as a drone license).
Handover day – We will provide a 1-day introductory handover session at your location. This will include professional, industry-specific flight coaching for your drone and any applications you may be using.
Access to COPTRZ Pilots – We don’t stop at supplying your drone; we can also connect you to other drone pilots who are available to provide operational support when you need it. Our hub of like-minded professionals can share advice and even tender job opportunities should they arise.
Free annual service plan – We recommend that all commercial drones are serviced annually to prevent malfunctions during flight. When you purchase your Matrice 200 series from us, we provide a free annual service plan as part of the package.
24-month warranty – Your new drone comes with a 12-month warranty as standard. But we will extend this to 24-months free of charge when you purchase your Matrice 200 series drone from us.
90-day money back guarantee – If for whatever reason, you don’t feel like a drone will help your business improve its efficiency and make the job safer, we provide a 90-day money back guarantee on all our drone and training products.
Drone financing/ leasing
There has never been a better time to start deploying drones in your business. Not only do we provide drone training as part of the package when you buy your new drone, we can also arrange finance for your new drone through our finance partner OmniPort.
A range of finance facilities are available from operating leases to interest-free monthly payment plans. This allows you to deploy drones in the field and benefit from their efficiency gains and time-saving benefits before the device has been paid for.
If you are looking to start a new business, providing aerial mapping solutions to chartered surveyors, this is the ideal way to finance your new venture and get your new business off the ground.
For more information about the Matrice 200 series or our range of CAA training courses, contact the COPTRZ team on 0330 111 7177, or get in touch with us on the form here.
Drone Survey Accuracy Report: DJI Phantom 4 RTK
The DJI Phantom 4 RTK is the latest in the line of aerial surveying technology from DJI, designed to provide highly accurate data for aerial 3D mapping.
Download the full report to find out more about the levels of accuracy that were achieved with the Phantom 4 RTK.
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