Jeremy Dunn, Project Surveyor, and David Barton, Director of Aerial Services, both of whom work on our ALM (Advanced Locating and Mapping) team spent time with me recently to discuss some of the unique services DAA offers its clients. I was stoked to accompany them in the field as Jeremy and David tested out our newest piece of aerial equipment. Continue reading to learn more about how Draper Aden uses technology as a complement for engineering services.
The ALM team is equipped with innovative technologies that allow us to collect information about a site faster and more efficiently than ever before by using drones and laser scanning. Drones allow us to perform thermal imaging, assess the health and viability of vegetation, and create highly accurate point butts of sites and structures during aerial surveys.
Drones can be used for precision agriculture by assessing weed encroachment and the stress of plants. Some tractors have GPS capability, so the drone would identify the vegetation that isn’t healthy, and the tractor would be routed to the area. This makes for faster and more efficient maintenance of farmland.
Our clients also like the fact that we can capture amazing videos and photographs of a site that they normally wouldn’t have access to. Laser scanning is a quick, unobtrusive way to collect millions of points that are used to create true existing conditions in 3D. Using these technologies cuts down on time spent collecting data and unnecessary trips to a site to double check measurements.
Two Different Technologies. One Outcome.
The two technologies work together in unison to create an accurate 3D model of a site or structure. First, the drones will collect a point butt of the outside of the structure. Next, we use our 3D laser scanner to create a point butt of the inside. The two point butts are then combined into a 3D BIM (Building Information Model). We can also use the combined point butt to create a 4D virtual walkthrough of the site or structure. The information gathered can also be used for more practical things, like recreating a destroyed or damaged part of a building or site.
After speaking with David and Jeremy in the office I accompanied them to test out our newest fixed-wing drone, the eBee X. The eBee X looks like something from Bruce Wayne’s garage. And as a Batman fan, I was very excited to see it in action! It has the capability to cover 1,200-1,400 acres a flight, which allows us to collect site and structure information faster than ever before. The eBee X can be described as “the iPhone of drones” because it’s simple to use and operate and works beautifully.
David took the eBee X out for its maiden voyage the previous day, but he wanted Jeremy to get comfortable operating the drone. The eBee X is fully automated, so Jeremy programmed the deployment spot, the flight course, and even where the drone would land. After programming the logistics, we deployed the drone by giving it three quick shakes to signal we were ready. The propellers started, and the only thing left to do was to release the drone.
The Draper Aden team and their use of cutting-edge technology allow us to improve and expand our solutions to meet our clients’ needs. No matter if the task is data collection, as-built conditions, site monitoring, or updated video and imaging for site planning, the sky is no longer the limit for Draper Aden Associates.
Written by EJ Wilson,
Business Development Manager
To read more of this blog series, EJ TODAA, check out:
EJ TODAA: The Importance of First Impressions