New technology is changing the surveying is done and the results it’s able to deliver. Drones combined with ground-penetrating radar are making more things possible.
While fieldwork on challenging terrain can be dangerous for surveyors, drone technology is helping to make the job safer and more efficient. Here, we outline the main advantages of this recent development for land developers, construction engineers, and more. When mounted on a lightweight drone, GPR is more accurate, efficient, versatile, and safer to perform.
How Does Aerial Surveying Work with Drones?
When the drone – or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – takes off, integrated software onboard the drone automatically starts recording results from the ground-penetrating radar. While it’s flying, technicians can view the radar status and monitor survey information via a remote screen. The drone is programmed to fly in a precise grid pattern over the area being surveyed. Then, once the drone has landed, the information can be transferred to ground control software.
Watch this video to learn more about how drones and GPR can work together to provide high-quality results.
Advantages of Using Drones for GPR
Drone technology has impacted many industries in recent years, including agriculture, mining, utilities, warehousing, and construction. For surveying, the benefits are numerous and new applications are being discovered all the time. The fact that drones can be easily transported and fly autonomously makes them a practical tool for many projects.
Advanced drones fly at low altitudes, close to the ground surface, and with targeted precision. For airborne surveying and inspections, this translates to better data resolution for surveying and photography. The measurements collected from GPR equipment is extremely accurate, and the documentation is high-quality. The results are equal, if not more precise, than traditional surveying methods.
Using drones, technicians can pinpoint the exact areas that they need to survey and save time reaching them. The equipment can cover even large areas and difficult topography, collecting the data required in a fraction of the time. Completing projects faster and using less invasive methods means cutting costs in the process as well.
Drone technology enables safe mapping of terrain and property. Survey technicians can now work remotely when dealing with tough conditions and difficult terrain. Working from a distance, they can send the drone into environments that would be unsafe and hazardous for manned vehicles or humans to traverse. This technology helps decrease the risk of accidents and injuries on the job and related delays.
Land surveying with drone technology vastly increases the range of land access. Today, surveying crews can access areas that would have previously been impossible to cover without large, specialized equipment.
Here are a few examples of how drones are being put to work in our industry:
- Land surveying,
- Mapping underground infrastructures,
- Thermal imaging,
- Laser scanning.
Surveying busy roadways, flooded areas, or congested cities is no problem for UAVs. With GPR mounted on a drone, it’s possible to see below the surface of soil, ice, rocks, buildings and other structures. GPR-drone integrated systems can even be used to measure the depth of freshwater and frozen surfaces, or profile the bottom of bodies including lakes, ponds, and rivers.
When used for mapping underground infrastructures, construction crews will have accurate, up-to-date records of existing structures. Knowing where concrete sewage channels and tunnels lie below the surface before beginning to excavate is a valuable advantage.
Aerial surveying can deliver additional resources that are helpful in the planning and development phases. High-definition ground images and aerial views of terrain or urban areas are examples of the imaging power that drones provide.
SOFTDIG® – SUBSURFACE UTILITY ENGINEERING
Check out our full range of professional services including ground-penetrating radar, utility mapping, drilling, and video pipe inspection. For more information about how we can help get your project completed accurately and on time, contact our team by filling out an estimate request.