Top tips for drone surveying

The drone has quickly become an essential tool for GIS professionals. UAVs are now used in many sectors including agriculture, archaeology, mining, and construction. HeliDrone Surveys has been providing high-quality UAV aerial surveys since 2014 for numerous businesses throughout the UK. Drone survey company London can help you reach those difficult-to-reach locations that are otherwise impossible to access using traditional methods.

Level Five Supplies has compiled a list with five top tips for drone surveying.

1. Make sure you choose the right tools and you can fly!

It is essential to know what the intended outcome of any operation is before you start spinning the rotors. The deliverables and outputs of these products should inform your choice of equipment and how they will best suit the requirements of the project.

Before any rotors spin, it is important to make sure that you have the right aircraft for the task and that the pilot can safely fly it. It is also important to determine which method would be best for the job, depending on the task at hand. There are many options for using drones for surveying.

2. Choose the right software

Drone hardware can make surveying more efficient and faster. However, the software that processes and analyses the data collected is crucial. Artificial intelligence automates large data sets analysis, eliminating humans and increasing efficiency.

Automation in the workflow, such as automatic marking of ground control points, makes it easier for the surveyors and provides a better client experience. Cleaner point clouds can make this experience even more enjoyable for the client.

3. Quantity and quality of data

To ensure data collection and processing are efficient and data integrity is sufficient, there are many factors to be aware of. Understanding customer needs, validating and verifying data, and choosing between RTK (real time kinematic), and PPK (post-processing Kinematic) are some of these considerations.

Understanding customer needs is the most important thing. For example, if you have 10cm of noise and the customer expects 5cm, then your expectations won’t be met.

A concern about batteries is something that can often cause confusion. It is important not to worry about flying time. The objective is to maximize the quality of data. So don’t be concerned about how many flights you take, but the data that you collect. Data can be thinned but cannot be made thicker.

4. Visualizing and understanding data

It’s a good idea to show clients different examples of the same data set to help them visualise and understand it. This could be LiDAR point clouds, RTK/PPK elevation reports, photogrammetry, or any other deliverable. The client will be better equipped to communicate their needs to you if they have an understanding of the differences among these deliverables.

5. Scaling up

It can be difficult to offer a high-quality service and scale up operations in drone surveying. If you are constantly involved in the work of clients, how do you expect to grow your business? Here are some of the key considerations: forced and planned scaling, staffing and client base, as well as sales and marketing. If you want to grow your business while still providing quality services, all of these factors must be considered.

Other factors can also impact business growth. For example, data overlap can be reduced, ground control points not used, processing time can be improved, and augmentation systems implemented. These efficiency will help you scale your efforts.