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UAV Aerial Surveying Imaging


UAV Aerial Surveying Imaging

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UAV Aerial Surveying Imaging


UAV Aerial Surveying Imaging

WHY USE A UAV/DRONE FOR AERIAL MAPPING AND SURVEYING?

Imaging collection in progress (Image: David Jinks).

Imaging collection in progress (Image: David Jinks).

The use of multi-rotor aerial platforms have become increasingly adaptable and capable to collect survey data that conventional aerial platforms, such as large fixed wing aircraft, have commonly undertaken in the past.

Traditional methods of obtaining data required high levels of surveying workforce numbers and the acquisition of data can often be time consuming, difficult to manage, keep up to date and be limited in content due to individual area health and safety considerations.

Commercial Applications and Uses...

Although not exhaustive, the following industry sectors can take advantage in sourcing geospatial data and imaging for their specific requirements:

  • Agriculture & Farming

    • Forest inventory.

    • Land and vegetation management.

  • Academia

    • Archaeology.

    • Historical site mapping.

  • Environmental Management

    • Coastal erosion studies.

    • Hydrology/river studies.

    • Illegal Waste Dumping

  • Aerial Imagery for Geospatial Information Systems Users

    • Creation of new uncharted datasets.

    • Mapping/charting dataset updates.

  • Land Development and Infrastructure Planning

    • Small to medium area surveying imaging.

    • Pre-cursor aerial imaging/surveying and planning for the construction sector.

    • Land development updates.

  • Surveying Technical Datasets

    • Terrain and surface modelling.

    • Volumetric stockpiles studies.

    • Continous site monitoring.

 

Cost and time savings...

The cost savings over a conventional fixed wing aircraft and helicopters are considerable too, especially tasked for small to medium-sized areas where alternative means of data collection can be expensive.  Companies can source ARC Aerial Imaging's professional and experienced UAV pilot/operator rather than appointing significant costs in purchasing their own platforms, training and employing full-time drone operators bespoke for this purpose.

Additionally, from planning to collection and data processing product output needs, we can undertake all that's necessary when it comes to aerial imaging surveying thus keeping costs and time to a minimum.

Orthomosiac of a Quarry

Orthomosiac of a Quarry

Digital Surface Model of a Quarry

Digital Surface Model of a Quarry

Our typical UAV/drone aerial imagery and geospatial dataset outputs include...

Sub-centimetre-level GSD Geotagged RGB and NIR (Near-Infrared) Aerial Imagery;

Georeferenced Orthomosaics and Landmap Imagery;

Point Clouds;

Digital Elevation Models (DSM/DTM);

3D Mesh Models;

Immersive 360 Degree Aerial Panoramics;

Fly-through Videos...



Our recommended geospatial data processing services...

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Airograph are a Data Processing and Photogrammetry consultation solution who supply at both consumer and enterprise level for drone data applications.

The utilisation of modern technology and a skill set built upon experience, allows the Airograph team to not just deliver market leading quality products – but achieving fast turnaround and unparalleled customer service.

They are working closely with a number of UK based companies whom are leaders in the field of data capture as well as having steady growth with international presence.

Their goal is to continue to offer highly competitive pricing based on a simple structure and not to mention their drive and focus, to continually improve their workflows through research and development.

For more information please visit them at www.airograph.co.uk

Initial Elevated Inspections


Initial Elevated Inspections

Initial Elevated Inspections


Initial Elevated Inspections

Accessing the inaccessable...

We know how to access the inaccessable via our professional UAV/drone operator and, as part of a comprehensive UAV/drone aerial imaging service, we are able to provide unrestricted amounts of high resolution/highly detailed aerial imagery and can also provide a variety of analytical and visual products with informed and actionable information that can be incorporated into your structural inspection reporting methods.

Our UAV-mounted imaging sensors can directly access difficult locations resulting in an improvement not only to safety but also to the speed of information gathering and the dissemination of this data to the client.

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What level of initial structural survey and inspection information detail do you require?

Our 15mm (left), 35mm-100mm (centre) and 45mm (right) lenses.

Our 15mm (left), 35mm-100mm (centre) and 45mm (right) lenses.

With broader aerial imaging options for key infrastructure inspections and surveys that can be captured at set 15mm, 35mm, 45mm, 50mm, 70mm and 100mm focal lengths for specific Imagery Resolution, Ground Sample Distance (GSD) and scaled-for imaging outputs, ARC Aerial Imaging provides a comprehensive service that's beyond the capabilities and abilities of its contemporaries.

Our drones and services have been proved capable by providing valuable aerial imaging imaging and data effectively, efficiently and safely!

Real time inspection feed...

Our Inspire 1 Pro sUAS fitted with the 35-100mm lens for highly-detailed inspection imaging.

Our Inspire 1 Pro sUAS fitted with the 35-100mm lens for highly-detailed inspection imaging.

Through the use of a deployed tripod-mounted field monitor, ARC Aerial Imaging can produce a live feed of your assets and critical asset infrastructure for the benefit to either a member of the facilities management or processing engineering team whilst an inspection is being carried out.

So, obtaining survey data (images) is far safer and the enhanced quality of such information means that inspection, repair or maintenance teams can directly pinpoint issues, saving time and money in allocating initial inspection resources (scaffolding, MEWPs, etc).

Subjects can be captured with precision and in detail not possible by more conventional means such as a fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter.  Its UAV Pilot/Operator and experienced Multi-Sensor Imagery Analyst will know how to reach the areas of importance to your initial inspection requirements.

Imaging from the powerful 30x optical zoom Zenmuse Z30 aerial camera onboard our Matrice 210 UAV.

Imaging from the powerful 30x optical zoom Zenmuse Z30 aerial camera onboard our Matrice 210 UAV.

Our Matrice 210 UAV fitted with the 30x optical/6x digital zoom Zenmuse Z30 aerial camera for highly-detailed inspection imaging.

Our Matrice 210 UAV fitted with the 30x optical/6x digital zoom Zenmuse Z30 aerial camera for highly-detailed inspection imaging.

Inspection imagery analysis and reporting.

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A first phase (an on-site visual inspection) or a second phase inspection (textual and/or illustrative reports) can be conducted for inspection teams which can be incorporated into their asset management documentation.

Inspection teams can additionally benefit from this by including routine task or scheduled external inspections of key infrastructure assets through the use of our previous and archived aerial imaging collection profiles which can be re-uploaded to our drones for accurate imaging collection continuity.


A Case Study...

During a recent commission to provide generic aerials of a client's site, one of our drones captured and, identified by our Multi-Sensor Aerial Imagery and Spatial Analyst through a live feed, revealed the significant presence of rust-like discolouration on one of the site's structure's roof exterior cladding.

Through initial analysis (1st Phase) of the collected 20MP resolution drone aerial imagery it was calculated that approximately 25-30% of the structure's roof is affected by this discolouration with stronger indications centred at one of the ten venting pipes. Continued first phase analysis revealed that several other venting pipes are also indicating lesser symptoms of this discolouration which are more prominent at their fittings to the structure's roof. Furthermore, possible rust or evidence of corrosion was also observed at several sections along the roof's apex/peak.

Back in the office, further imagery analysis (2nd Phase), including analysing historical celestial imaging, suggested that this discolouration had likely started in 2007 and was probably emanated from where the stated heavily discoloured venting pipe is situated. Since 2007 it has gradually spread and has affected up to 30% of the roof's exterior cladding as indicated on imagery.

We promptly forwarded this information for their inspection considerations and if further higher resolution, low GSD aerial imaging via our drones would be required of the structure for enhanced remote and forensic analysis.


Aerial Visualisation Products.

We can also provide aerial visualisation products of infrastructure sites and their surrounds.  The creation of 3D models and 360 degree visualisation panoramics (below) taken from specific operating heights can be applied to give stakeholders a visual appreciation on the scale and extent of facilities with products also annotated at specific points for referencing and documentation purposes.

Drone Flight Telemetry Data Information.

Telemetry data sourced from our drone flight operating logs can also be made available either as additional collateral information (.txt & .csv files) for technical auditing and referencing uses.  This can also be promptly overlayed and rendered to inspection videos (below) that will enable structural inspection teams and key project stakeholders to have pertinent positional information when reviewing videos during forensic inspection assessments of subjects and for the inclusions into their reporting methods.


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Construction Projects


Construction Projects

Construction Projects


Construction Projects

One of the most effective uses of UAVs is assisting with regional development teams and construction companies.  This can start at the initial phases of development planning by providing initial aerial survey imaging and during the progress of construction by providing aerial imaging updates to management teams/stakeholders right up until the completion of a project.

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UAVs can provide aerial imaging to project stakeholders involved in the process an enhanced way to appreciate the scale, layout and complexity of large projects from various collection aspects.  Additional benefits of multi-rotor aerial imaging include:

  • ARC Aerial Imaging's multi-rotor UAV platforms are much more flexible than a fixed mast, cheaper and safer than using a helicopter, even for large construction projects.

  • They can be flown via autonomous waypointing to various viewing and collection points whilst referring from a "live" video downlink feed from an attached monitor or tablet for onsite consultation with the project and construction site managers.

  • The platforms require little space to take off/land and can be prepared quickly before each flight.

  • The cameras onboard the UAVs can be switched from stills to video and back to stills collection modes both on the ground and whilst airborne enabling to capture more and varied content.

Many UAV uses in construction fall under the broad header of project support.  That includes construction progress reporting, providing images for documentation and monitoring safety.  Overall, our UAVs can help with scheduling, communication, and improving accuracy on all types of project functions.  Our UAVs fly low level, serpentine flights over projects recording hundreds of images in the process.  Later, software can be used to stitch/mosiac together the images creating single, large imagery of a site.

Furthermore, by collecting regular aerial stills and video from the same angles, construction companies can obtain a comprehensive aerial portfolio documenting how their projects are progressing.  Upon project completion, this can be presented as further evidence of their work, as illustrated below, to future development projects that are out for tender.

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Agricultural Aerial Imaging


Agricultural Aerial Imaging

Agricultural Aerial Imaging


Agricultural Aerial Imaging

How our precision drone aerial imaging and accredited spatial analysis can assist agriculture...

Augmenting agronomy, assisting to detect potential crop problems, minimising costs!

Initially assessing a crop condition can be both difficult to ascertain and time-consuming from the ground...

Initially assessing a crop condition can be both difficult to ascertain and time-consuming from the ground...

With our ability to collect and analyse drone aerial imaging data, our comprehensive specialist services could augment and enhance the services of agricultural subject matter experts such as agronomists who may wish to take the advantage to identify potential crop growing problems promptly.  This can be whilst reviewing live imaging on site and/or also through onward processed technical imaging data to be included into their assessments whilst making actionable decisions more promptly.

This process of collecting aerial imagery can be further repeated by applying the same autonomous flight protocols in so that, for example, periodic crop monitoring can be continually conducted.

Prompt decisions can be crucial as it can potentially save a whole crop landholding from being affected by unhealthy sub-areas.  In addition, and as soon as a potential issue is detected, a more precise or tailored crop and landholding remedy can be applied and be further monitored.

... yet through the use of aerial imaging, assessing continued crop growth conditions and to detect any potential problems can be timely ascertained from the air.

... yet through the use of aerial imaging, assessing continued crop growth conditions and to detect any potential problems can be timely ascertained from the air.

Capturing multiple aerial imaging data on a single drone platform...

Multi-spectral (MAPIR SURVEY1 NIR + BLUE) CAMERA aerial imaging for:

  • High value crop health monitoring;

  • Potential invasive weed mapping;

  • Anomaly detection;

  • Weather damage assessment.

Visual (RGB) Camera
aerial imaging for
:

  • Plant condition and excessive soil spacing identification;

  • 360 degree immersive arable landholding overviews;

  • Landholding overview orthomosiacs for documention and referencing uses;

  • DTM/DSM and contour mapping for landholding elevation studies for drainage issues.

DJI Zenmuse X3/X5 RGB Camera

DJI Zenmuse X3/X5 RGB Camera

Duel sensor configuration on our DJI Inspire 1 drone

Duel sensor configuration on our DJI Inspire 1 drone

Mapir Survey1 NIR + Blue Spectrum Camera

Mapir Survey1 NIR + Blue Spectrum Camera

360 degree agricultural aerial visuals...

Capturing aerial imaging of large arable landholdings can be a demanding undertaking for multirotors and this is where fixed-wing drones are more applicable due to the amount of imaging data that can be collected during flight.

However and unlike fixed-wing drones, our multirotors can stay static in the air by loitering at predetermined positions and heights over these large landholdings to collect vast amounts of oblique aerial stills.  These can be used to produce 360 degree aerial visual products (below) in order to pinpoint and document potential problem areas such as excessive crop spacing and sub-areas of exposed soils for more refined aerial imaging of and continued spatial analysis.

Cooperating with fixed-wing drone agricultural aerial imaging providers...

Pinpointed multirotor aerial imaging and analysis could affirm potential crop and other landholding issues initially indicated through the use of fixed-wing drones.

Pinpointed multirotor aerial imaging and analysis could affirm potential crop and other landholding issues initially indicated through the use of fixed-wing drones.

By providing large agricultural landholding aerial imaging workarounds by producing 360 degree overviews with our multirotors (above), we can also augment the agricultural services provided by fixed-wing drone operators.

By being directed and waypointed to potential problem areas indicated from fixed-wing imaging, additional aerials undertaken by multirotor platforms can be achieved by operating and loitering at lower altitudes to collect imagery at lower GSD resolutions (below) than fixed-wing platforms potentially confirming what was initially indicated or detected.

This cooperative drone operating model could provide a multi-layered aerial imaging solution for several agricultural problems.

Landholding data collection and analysis for high value crops...

NDVI is a vegetative index that can be computed from multi-spectral imagery to help assess vegetative health.  When our configured sensor captures the amount of reflected visible light and reflected near-infrared (NIR) light you can process those images to come up with a NDVI "value", which ranges from -1 to 1.  Plants reflect and absorb visible and NIR energy but they reflect less energy in the visible spectrum than the NIR spectrum.  As they become less productive due to stress or senescence the NIR reflectance decreases rapidly.

Vegetation will have a positive NDVI value typically around 0.5, with values lower than 0.5 being less healthy and values larger than 0.5 being more healthy.  Healthiness is based on the vegetation's ability to reflect the NIR light which corresponds to vigorous photosynthesis activity.  NDVI values close to 0 will typically be bare soil and highly reflective non-vegetation like bodies of water. Man-made materials like concrete, asphalt, plastics, etc will typically have a negative value.

We're a recognised provider of UAS aerial imaging for agriculture...

In September 2016, ARC Aerial Imaging attended the 'BASIS Agricultural Awareness Training for UAS Operators Course' at Harper Adams University to augment its drone aerial imaging and spatial consulting knowledge.

The course serves as an introduction into the basic aspects of the agricultural sector and is designed for professional operators of UAVs/drones like ARC Aerial Imaging in providing them with a fundamental level of understanding and knowledge appropriate for their work within the agricultural industry and supply chain.