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How do Drones help Surveyors ?

%DroneSurveys - %photographicdronesurveysSurveyors find themselves operating in a whole range of different sectors including property purchases, land surveys, agriculture and construction. While it’s a profession that has normally remained quite static in how technology is used, developments in drone technology have made a big difference. 

Drones lend themselves to multiple applications whether it’s for, surveying land or checking over homes and business properties in urban locations. 

In the last decade, drones have gone from simple playthings and executive toys to serious disruptors in many industries. You cannot watch a film or TV series nowadays without a few seconds of some drone footage included.

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The improvement in technology, especially where High definition cameras and other sensors are concerned, is having a huge impact, even while the legal complications over drone operation are still being ironed out. 

Small and flexible

For your average surveyor, a drone is a fairly compact piece of kit to carry around. It can be stored in the back of the car or van and quickly put into action when needed. Drones are light and flexible and can be used to survey everything from a large area of land to individual buildings. 

Compared to a helicopter or an aeroplane, a drone is able to fly closer to the building structure and obtain highly accurate images that can then be used in the evaluation process and report writing. 

Reducing surveying time

If you have to get a ladder out and climb up onto a roof every time you do a property survey, it can be pretty inconvenient not to mention dangerous in many situations. The use of a drone, in this case, makes sense. It can be implemented in next to no time and will cover large areas of a property in a short period, taking high-quality images which can be saved and evaluated later. 

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Reducing surveying costs and risks

The speed and accessibility that drones provide also helps to deliver on lowering overall costs. Not only does the survey take less time, there’s often no need for support teams to be included when exteriors are being examined. 

Survey crews may also be subject to risks, particularly in remote locations. Drones help with reducing the potential for injury and limiting the size of the team needed. 

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Accessing remote locations

One key area where drones are already being used in surveying is with remote locations. If you have a region that has dense undergrowth or marshland, for example, navigating it physically can be difficult and also perilous. A drone easily accesses these areas and, with the latest sensor technology, various amounts of data can be collected easily and accurately. 

Another mention is the accessibility of buildings and getting into all those nooks and crannies we can’t see unless from above, here a drone comes into its own and the proof is there for everyone to see. Check out this photo – as the roof lights

where quite fragile the surveyor on site needed to see the condition of the guttering surrounding the structure

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Types of Drone Sensors

While drones themselves are proving popular with surveyors, they are simply a method of delivering the right technology to the place. Of much greater interest is the growth in different types of sensor that can be deployed in a variety of surveying situations.

These currently include:

  • Optical cameras: The most commonly used drones carry digital cameras and deliver the images directly to a handheld device such as smartphone or laptop. They can take close up stills and video of structures and landscapes and are regularly used in construction, bridge inspections and maintenance. 
  • Thermal cameras: Heat loss from a property is just one area that a thermal camera can prove useful for a surveyor. They are also used for solar farms, industrial chimneys and monitoring land contamination. 
  • LiDAR: Another hi-tech solution a drone can carry is airborne laser scanning which is now regularly used in mapping and topographical surveying. 
  • Optical gas imaging: These sensors spot gas leaking which is normally invisible to the naked eye. 
  • Multispectral sensors: The human eye only picks up certain light across a narrow spectrum. Being able to assess an area of land with a sensor that goes beyond these limits is useful, particularly in industries such as agriculture. 

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Surveyors, Drones and Regulations

As with any operator, surveyors have to comply with the rules and regulations that surround drone technology. Surveyors need to understand the legislation, as it relates to flying a drone in any urban area like a town or city. That includes having the right permissions to operate a drone commercially through the Civil Aviation Authority. Why not ask us here at HeliDrone Surveys to give you a quote

There’s no doubt that drones have proved an important tool for surveyors in many sectors. They are increasingly being used for everything from property investigations to more complicated land surveys. Alongside these lightweight machines, the technology that is being developed is also having a huge impact, revolutionising many sectors in the process.