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Drone Technology – Revolutionizing The Aerial Surveys

Drones have been around for a while. However, the technology has now been widely used in the surveying and remote sensing professions. But thanks to the advent of practical, lightweight lithium polymer batteries, low-cost drone technology, lightweight digital cameras and advances in close-range oblique aerial photography — all of which make the future of drones in surveying exciting.

How It Works:

There are two basic types of drones—fixed-wing unit and a rotor type.  Typically, a fixed wing unit would have a brushless electric motor, and the rotor type would have between three and eight (or more) brushless electric motors (referred to as multirotors).  The rotor units enable the drones to float at a specific altitude and position and operate in limited airspace. The technology for both systems relies on the featherweight lithium polymer battery that is able to store an incredible amount of power. The brushless motors have a large variable speed range with good power at all speeds, lightweight air-frames and a simple, hobby-type airplane radio controller. Devices like GPS and altimeters enhance their capabilities. Small, on-board video cameras with micro-video transmitters enable pilots on the ground wearing digital video headsets to “fly” as though they were sitting in the pilot’s seat.

Surveying

The Benefits:

With the technology moving so rapidly and its adoption in aerial surveys, the drones would revolutionize surveying services. They are the most important technological advances introduced in this space.  The benefits of using a drone for surveying are immense.

  • Highly accurate, high-definition maps can be created in a fraction of the time that it needed earlier
  • Data of all sorts can be gathered by the drone including photography and video
  • All information can be instantly uploaded to a server where it can be accessed by authorized individuals anywhere in the world
  • It becomes much easier to reach difficult locations with drones
  • Using drones is significantly safer in certain situations

These are of course just a few of the reasons why this technology has been so important to the industry. As applied robotics continues to increase in complexity, there is very little doubt that the capabilities of surveying drones and the breadth of data that can be collected would only increase in the coming times.

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