DRONES = FAST, EFFICIENT THE FUTURE!
A survey from a company using drone technology is the latest and most accurate method for producing data that all surveyors will find invaluable. The drone gives access to locations that would otherwise be impossible to achieve using traditional surveying methods. Fast and time efficient pass the savings onto your client and benefit from a new revenue stream that benefits all. Any drone survey company can give you advice and information.
With a drone survey you can collect limitless amounts images and video data. Utilising this data can help you create accurate reports as well as presenting it in a variety of formats such as: Point cloud 3D imaging, 2D orthophotograhic mapping and Geo tagged data for map integration.
Using a drone to capture topographical data is 5x faster than traditional surveying methods.
As using a drone involves less manpower costs can be reduced and efficiencies increased, the data produced is same day for fast-track operations.
A drone survey company will give you access to the IMPOSSIBLE, being able to direct and position the aircraft to any point in space you get the birds-eye from every angle. We collect you the information that would otherwise have been unobtainable in the past.
if you require more information about booking a drone survey on your site please contact us here at Helidrone Surveys
We have been operating since 2014 and have conducted hundreds of drone surveys across the UK. We have a large client base ranging from RICS survey firms to construction companies and roofing contractors. We are vey active on social media and you will find more information about our previous work if you search our channel.
Our operatives have are licensed from the CAA and safety is our highest priority, we're flexible and passionate about our work so please contact us: [email protected]
Either you want to use a drone for commercial purposes or as a hobby, UK's Civil Aviation Authority(CAA) lays some basic rules which every drone owner has to follow, in order to register themselves for the drone license.
Yes, you must have a drone license if you live in the UK. Anyways there are guidelines that you should cling to so as to confirm that you are abiding by the law.
Moreover, CAA has made it mandatory that all the drone owners should get their drones registered before 30th November, 2020.
As UAVs are still very new, the law about their usage is continually developing. So, it is essential that you are completely up-to-date regarding the most recent changes.
So, in the upcoming texts, we have some useful information for you that can help you know about the statutory requirements for obtaining a drone license in the UK.
CAA wants you to be registered for flying a drone in the UK. However, not all the drones require registration. The conditions for registering a drone are:
If you fulfill the first two points(either with the drone or its usage) then it is a must for you to register your drone, and get a drone license for owning and flying in the UK.
It is against the law that you fly a drone without registering or passing a test. So, the registration process includes the following:
Moreover, you must be at least 18 years old to get an operator ID. However, for obtaining a flyer ID, you must be at least 13 years old.
After getting your operator ID, you are obliged to identify and label all your drones.
Besides, you can visit the official website of the Civil Aviation Authority to know more about the license requirements.
The latest regulations in 2020 about the drone licensing and registration include the details of drones that need to be registered. Drones are classified on the basis of:
Furthermore, the classification of the drones according to the requirements in the new regulations is as follows:
The maximum take-off mass of such drones is less than 250g. Moreover, they have a maximum speed of 19m/s (approx 42.5mph).
The maximum operating limit for these drones is about 120m (400ft) from the controlling device.
Drones coming under Class 1 have either less than 900g maximum take-off mass. If they collide with a human head, the energy transmission should be less than 80 Joules.
In addition, they have a maximum speed of 19m/s (approx 42.5mph).
These drones have less than 4kg maximum take-off mass and they have such a design that minimizes the injury to people.
Besides, they are equipped with a "low-speed mode" which limits the maximum speed to 3m/s (approx 6.7mph) when selected by the remote pilot.
Drones of this category have less than 25kg maximum take-off mass.
It includes UAVs that do not possess any automation, other than for basic flight stabilization (and so are more representative of a traditional model aircraft) which are less than 25kg maximum take-off mass.
If you possess any kind of drone training certificate then it will be easy for you to obtain the license from CAA.
Most of the CAA Recognized Assessment Entities provide you two basic courses for becoming a drone pilot.
After completion you get the following certificates:
After you obtain these certificates(General VLOS Certificate being the compulsory), you can easily apply for PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operation).
Find out more about the current drone regulations in the UK by clicking here.
COVID-19, a pandemic - has infected at least 2 million people all over the world and has caused almost approximately 170,000 deaths so far... In order to control and maintain the safety of populations, governments all over the world have implemented lockdowns. People have been restricted to their homes for more than a month (May 2020). Organizations, Governments, and societies need to think of better ways to can continue their operations with minimum physical contact.
Advanced technologies like GIS, Mapping, Data, Artificial Intelligence, surveillance cameras, and autonomous machines are playing a role in combating the pandemic. Drones are playing an active role in fighting this invisible menace. Governments and other authorities are using the drone technology to stop the further spread of COVID-19.
Let’s have a look at how drones are being used to carry on the essential life operations:
Residential compounds and hospitals need daily supplies more than ever. Doctors are in need of medical kits and laboratory testing equipment to perform their operations. During all of this chaos, the need of the hour was to make use of a technology that can ensure minimum to no physical contact.
In this difficult time, drones are being used to fulfill the needs of the people. A lot of countries used drones as the fastest and the effective way to deliver groceries, supply medicines, and take samples from hospitals to laboratories.
On Feb 06, 2020, Wuhan, the epicenter of this pandemic, used an autonomous drone to deliver medical supplies and groceries. This drone also covered the areas where traditional delivery routes were closed.
see here for an example for drone deliveries:
An important responsibility of the authorities across the globe is to control the spread of this outbreak. Almost every country has banned mass gatherings and closed unnecessary public places to implement social distancing and limit person-to-person contact.
However, there are still some areas where people are not taking these measures seriously and not complying with the restrictions. That’s why law enforcement authorities like police are using drones to monitor the movement of people to break all types of social gatherings.
The drone based surveillance cameras are in use to ensure that people are safe and staying in their homes. This technology is greatly helping authorities to monitor a lot of areas at once without any kind of physical engagement, drones can cover distances easily and quickly, results are real-time.
Drones are performing the job of broadcasting information and sending messages or announcements especially to the rural areas that lack proper communication channels. China and several other European countries are using sky speakers with drones to spread messages of social distancing, wearing masks, taking necessary precautions, and staying indoors.
Health authorities are taking benefit of agricultural spray drones to spray disinfectant in the areas where COVID-19 is spreading fast. The spraying drones carry disinfectant in them and cover vast public spaces in less than an hour. Their speed and function is far better than the already-used traditional processes.
Drones are quite easy to operate and reach hard-to-access areas as well. They reduce the health risk by preventing health workers from being exposed to virus. Many countries like China, Indonesia, UAE, India, and Colombia have successfully used drones to disinfect their public areas. Spain was the first ever country that used agricultural drone for spraying disinfectant in public spaces.
During the peak of this virus in China, the health authorities used thermal cameras attached to drones to get remote temperature measurement in hard-to-reach areas. The operation was carried out on a large scale since people were highly worried about face-to-face contact and catching the infection.
The UK, United States, Germany, and China among others have used large empty spaces to construct temporary hospitals to treat more and more patients and lighten the pressure on hospitals. Authorities are using drones to survey these areas as well as a source of light to keep spaces illuminated. China used 6 lighting drones placed 50 meter above the ground to provide light to almost 6,500 square meter area. These drones provided light for 10 hours continuously with one charge!
As you can see from the evidence above drones are playing a larger part in everyday usage and imagination is only the limit for what they be used for in the future.
If you want us to talk about this topic in detail, feel free to contact HeliDrone Surveys.
We were ask a local history group to document and map an area of a Brockley and Ladywell cemetery in Brockley South East London . See about 3D Point Clouds and Drone Photogrammetry from here.
As this is a conservation and nature reserve area as well as being a historical site. We needed permission from the landowner to fly here. Luckily we had connections with the Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries group. www.foblc.org.uk who introduced us to Lewisham Council who in turn generously. Gave us permission to fly from the site.
Our aim was to produce an example of 3D Photogrammetry.
We decided on a location that was the old chapel on the grounds.
The methodology behind 3D Photogrammetryis obtaining still images at various points around an object (the chapel). Luckily for us, we had a decent space (a few close trees. But the generally open area to encircle the chapel.
Once we had set up an orbit flight path around the chapel. We then proceeded to take regular photos every 1 or 2 seconds. Whilst the drone took a pre-determined path. This would enable us using the software to compute what’s called a point cloud (a set of data points in space)
Using the software a point cloud would be generated. Which would, in turn, create a 3D model of the chapel from the 2D stills images of the camera of the drone.
Building a 3D model is a good historical record of any subject (a face, sculpture, art) or building.
Depending on photographic resolution (the camera's specification with regard to resolution) determines the amount of detail. You can achieve this in the final model.
Once the data has been interpreted and a model generated. It can export from the software in various 3D formats (files) that can use. For example to create a 3D model using a 3D printer.
Alternatively, the model could be transcoded into a video editing package for use in a film or perhaps other media projects.
Many cameras on drones also collect the GPS data for each still frame. So there is a possibility of integrating the model using google maps.
Another example of 3D integration from Central London:
this example shows the front elevation of a London Townhouse again. This is a good historical record of any location note that. We did not require a full 360 of the subject as this would have been a very awkward location to photograph all around.
But it shows the compliance of a drone at any location.
Further reference see integrating 3D models with Google Earth:
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There are a number of reasons why you might require the use of a drone. Whatever your requirements, if you choose for hiring a survey drone pilot then you will need to make several considerations in order to determine whether they are reputable and trustworthy.
So take a look at these ten tips and select the right pilot for the job in hand.
Operating an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) drone requires pilots to carry relevant certifications. Here in the UK it is the PfCO, Permissions for Commercial Operations, issued by the CAA, Civil Aviation Authority. In other countries this varies significantly. Therefore, it is important that the drone pilot is licensed to work in your country. And has a clear understanding of all local and national drone safe regulations.
They will need to have the correct level of liability insurance in place and that means that you will need to see proof. (Using a PfCO certified pilot a declaration is made they carry the most suitable insurance. This will ensure that they are covered for any damage to persons and property in the event of an accident. They should be able to carry out a risk assessment as part of the project brief and depending on your assignment. The level of insurance they have might need to be adjusted.
The type of project you are carrying out will depend on the type of drone pilot you choose. Therefore, you will need to make sure that they have experience in working on similar projects in the past. You need to ensure that they can meet the specifics of your project and meet your expectations. They should have a portfolio that showcases their work as well as reviews and references. All of which will help you to make an informed decision.
Before any kind of drone flight, the pilot should carry out a risk assessment in advance. This will ensure that the work can be carried out in a safe and controlled manner. You can ask them if any assessments that they have completed for other projects. Including similar risks that could become apparent in your project. They will need to ensure that the safety of the public and persons is paramount. As well as any other aircraft will be operating in the area at the time.
NOTAMS : A notice to airmen (NOTAM) is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight. Or NATS - NATS Holdings, formerly National Air Traffic Services and commonly referred to as NATS, is the main air navigation service provider in the United Kingdom. It inherited the traditions of UK air traffic control, which (founded over Croydon Airport) was the world's first air traffic control regime.
Even though a risk assessment has been carried out, you should always double-check. This is a serious part of the process and carrying out due diligence is absolutely vital. Until a Pilot is on site and has seen the location, its never fully understood, even though Google maps does a great overall search of the location, theres no substitution for being at ground levels on site...You will need to know 100% whether there are any small potential risks that are worth considering and make sure that nothing has been overlooked.
Obviously, you must always use qualified pilots (it is illegal in the UK for unlicensed pilots to charge for their services. As any commercial pilot will tell you. But there are many people out there who are operating drones without the correct qualifications. Therefore, they should be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority. CAA -so you can go to them to find a list of qualified pilots and also find out when their license expires. Remember that if you use someone who is not registered then they will not be insured. A project is considered a commercial operation if you are using a drone for commercial gain.
Of course, you are going to need a pilot who has experience and is going to get results. As a result, you will need to ask them what experience and skills they have. While many people can master the skill of flying a drone. Having the skills to carry out photography. Filming or mapping is a separate skill altogether.
The reason for asking this is that naturally. You are going to want to make sure they have the right equipment that will allow them to carry out the work correctly. Whether you want to film, take photographs or map an area, they are going to need specific equipment. To add to this, you are going to want to make sure they can deliver results to a high standard. Ask to see examples of their work and if you like what you see. Ask them to put in writing what they can deliver.
There is every chance that your project will cost a significant amount of money. Therefore, a contract will protect both parties. This could prove to be a crucial aspect of ensuring you have the right pilot for the task in hand. Should something go wrong or if there is a dispute then a contract will be essential. Your contract can include many different aspects such as agreeing to fly the drone in a specific area only. Such as an area that you own and what you expect to receive as part of the service. A contract will ensure that everyone understands what is expected from the project.
After you have determined whether the pilot meets the criteria. It is important to find out when they can work. Therefore, asking this in advance will enable you to prepare. Especially if your project can only be undertaken at a certain times of the year.
Choosing the right pilot is crucial for a number of reasons including safety. Ensuring that they deliver your project and have an understanding of what is required of them. Following these ten tips will enable you to make an informed decision and help you to select the right drone pilot for the task in hand. Drop us a line here at Helidrone Surveys for more information
In a relatively short period of time, drones have become a disruptive technology in many commercial sectors including surveying and agriculture. One key area where these flexible and affordable machines are used today is photo mapping.
With high-resolution cameras and accurate geotagging from GPS data. Once you have the appropriate software it’s now relatively easy to create a photo map of any area of land.
In the past, you would have needed to take aerial shots from a high vantage point or using an aeroplane or helicopter. Even with that, being able to size and geotag those images was limited as was the stitching software being used.
Drones have all but helped solve this problem in the last few years. Carrying high-resolution cameras. They can operate at a carefully controlled height and take individual still images of a location which are then stitched together using highly effective photo mapping software.
If done well, the result is an accurate 2D map of the landscape. More sophisticated drone technology is also now allowing us to produce 3D maps. And the latest sensors allow us to deploy thermal imaging and airborne laser scanning.
Drone mapping uses a process called photogrammetry which allows you to make measurements between objects and produce accurate topographical representations. These maps can be used for a variety of purposes and even imported into platforms such as Google Maps.
The huge benefits of using drones for photo mapping are fairly evident.
First of all, there’s the lower cost involved. Hiring a helicopter or aeroplane to survey an area of land is very expensive. A drone is light, flexible and can get closer to the ground than a traditional aircraft. It can carry in the back of a car or van and operates in almost any location.
With the high definition cameras that are available nowadays. Along with GPS data tracking. Very accurate representations can be obtained in a relatively short space of time and with minimum effort. Essentially, the software does all the heavy lifting for you.
Drone photo mapping is used in many industries and sectors today including surveying, construction, land development and agriculture. It’s also use smaller commercial ventures to create bespoke maps. That can upload to platforms such as Google Maps.
If you are using drones for your business, your options will be between multi-rotor and fixed-wing aircraft. The former is more often used in photo mapping simply because it offers greater flexibility of movement. Multi-rotor drones also tend to come at a lower cost and can take a relatively heavier payload, in this case, the camera.
The key to photo mapping is the software that is used. This needs to be able to create what are called orthomosaic photos in other words. Images that can geometrically correct so that you don’t have any distortion spoiling the map.
A drone will take many overlapping images of a particular landscape. And these are then added into the software which stitches them together in order to form the map. Along with the image itself, a Ground Control Point or GCP is used to render accurate information. This usually consists of a fix base GPS that sends out signals to regularly correct information.
The number of different drone mapping software choices on the market has grown considerably in the last five to six years. Some are relatively easy to use. While others require a good deal of expertise. Here are just a few examples:
If you have created a photo map of a specific location you can also integrate it with Google Maps. Simply head into Google My Maps and click on Create a New Map. This gives you the opportunity to embed your map along with the GPS data in both a KML and GPX file.
Check out an example of HeliDrone Surveys photo mapping. This was using an orthographic mapping technique (CLICK HERE) and zoom in on the building below. Its a great example of integrating Google maps and photo images
See How do Drones help Surveyors from here. Surveyors 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.
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.
For your average surveyor, a drone is a fairly compact piece of kit to carry around. It can store in the back of the car or van and quickly put into action when needed. Drones are light and flexible and can use 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 use in the evaluation process and report writing.
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 implement in next to no time and will cover large areas of a property in a short period. Taking high-quality images which can save and evaluat later.
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 examine.
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.
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
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 deploy in a variety of surveying situations.
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 use for everything from property investigations to more complicated land surveys. Alongside these lightweight machines. The technology that is develop is also having a huge impact, revolutionising many sectors in the process.
The UK Drone Laws surrounding drones has always been a little challenging to understand for beginners. Particularly when it comes to what is allowed and what isn’t. Flying below 400 feet and not going within 50 metres of people and private property are just the beginning. When it comes to drone laws...
For experienced operators, particularly those that use drones for work. There’s a continual wait for the government to publish their latest updates.
New, additional legislation introduced in March 2019 has tighten the law, especially in respect of flying drones near airports. This includes registering devices that are over a certain weight and size.
The growing popularity of drones is all well and good but it doesn’t come without challenges. The mysterious drones that managed to close Gatwick and Heathrow airports last year only serves to remind us that legislation relating. To these devices is still in development and more is yet to come.
The current consultation has been going on for some while and the UK is not the only country. That is struggling to get the balance right when it comes to drone law. We already have a number of legal requirements that means drones can’t flow in popular areas such as towns and cities. Without permission while there’s also the prickly issue of public privacy when it comes to drone cameras.
If you are using drones in your businesses, the March 2019 changes may create problems. Especially if you have to work within the exclusion area surrounding airports. And, if you aren’t sure where your nearest airfield is. You may unwittingly start flying a drone and open yourself up to prosecution.
Any pilot of a drone will now have to make sure they stay outside a 5km perimeter surrounding an airport, an increase from the previous 1km. This includes a 5km by 1 km extension covering the ends and beginnings of runways to protect planes taking off and landing.
From the 30th November 2019, if you operate a drone that has a weight between 250g and 25Kg. You will need to undertake an online safety test and register with the Civil Aviation Authority before you are allowed to operate it. If you fail to do this after the start date, you could be liable to a fine of up to £1,000 if you are caught.
The police will have their powers extended from November 2019. This comes mostly in light of drone interference associated with airports but is also related to the potential for criminal activity such as flying drugs and other contraband into prisons.
If a drone is thought to have been used in an offence. The police can obtain a warrant to search your property for evidence. They can also now give on the spot fines. If you have committed a minor offence such keeping the drone in Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) or refusing to land a drone when asked to do so.
If you are already an experienced drone operator, you’ll have expected these changes and won’t surpris at the new additions to the law. Most understand that flying too close to an airport can be dangerous to flights. Just be aware that the perimeter has now been increased quite considerably.
Registration and taking the online safety test may give rise to some issues. Neither of these are up and running yet though the CAA says everything will be available by the end of October 2019. How effective this will be remains to be seen.
This is almost definitely not the end of drone legislation in the UK or across the rest of the world. For instance, it seems likely that an age restriction will come in at some point. There’s also talk of developing an app for professional drone users so that they can keep authorities informed of where they are flying and when.
There’s no doubt that the use of drones has increased dramatically over the last few years. They are utilis film companies, tourist boards, surveyors. The agriculture industry and even for delivering packages through companies like Amazon. The scope is set to widen as drones become increasingly sophisticated.
All legislation being introduced has to strike a fine balance between making users. Particularly in respect of commercial drones, more accountable while not impeding their operation. It’s a difficult compromise to achieve and may take a few years yet before it’s fully fleshed out. For drone users, it’s a question of keeping up to date with the latest changes and adjusting behaviour accordingly.
Please have a look at the Governments: Domestic Threat of Drones
from Defence Committee and Science and Technology Committee, on Tuesday 11 June 2019
there is also a link to the transcript of the meeting
Brief Case study 2: Photograph and video roof survey of Kingston Hospital, Regency Wing