Drones have evolved into more than just aerial vehicles. They are the silent, tireless data gatherers in the sky, playing crucial roles in the digital transformation journey across various sectors – from agriculture, utilities, and emergency services to environmental studies and much more. These flying marvels are poised to cause a data revolution by providing an unprecedented opportunity for detailed data acquisition and 3D modeling- no longer are surveys confined within the boundaries of 2D.
Drone Photograph & AirWise 3D Model
In particular, GIS surveyors are adopting drones to increase their coverage capacity and take on more complex projects, leading to a noticeable uptick in their business. Likewise, adjacent enterprises such as cell tower inspections, power substation inspections, and oil and gas refineries also stand to benefit enormously from these developments. Thus, it’s not just about deploying drones but exploring and innovating in the drone technology space that can yield significant dividends.
However, to realize this productive potential, there are a few core elements that require meticulous attention: Flight & Fleet Management, and Imaging Processing & Analytics.
Flight & Fleet Management: Ensuring Safety and Compliance
Flight planning is paramount in drone-based data acquisition. It involves creating autonomous flight plans built within the FAA compliance and LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability) framework. These plans must take into account several factors, such as weather, terrain obstacles, power lines, and more. In parallel, 3D flight planning is critical to establish safe and repeatable paths for data collection.
Moreover, efficient fleet management is central to the smooth operation of a drone fleet. It involves thorough knowledge of drones and their sensors, understanding their battery quality, lifecycle, maintenance needs, and location. Compliance documentation, such as FAA airspace compliance, pilot FAA 107 certification compliance, weather conditions, and flight logs, is an integral part of this process.
AirWise 3D visualization Flight planning showing weather warnings and airspace restrictions to the north.
Imaging Processing & Analytics: Engineering Results
The zenith of data acquisition lies in creating a realistic 3D model or a digital twin with high precision photogrammetry software. Your solution must handle images from a single drone flight with the camera at any angle and altitude. Additionally, the use of technologies like RTK, PPK, ground control points (GCPs), and related editing services can significantly enhance the quality and applicability of the resulting models. Integrating data from multiple sources such as other drones or satellites, ground cameras, thermal, LIDAR, and GHG (GreenHouse Gases) sensors can take your analytics to a whole new level.
Navigating the Maze of Applications
While these capabilities are impressive, many users find themselves lost in the maze of applications and steps required to complete their tasks. This is where the AirWise Data and Analytics Platform (ADAP) can make a world of difference.
AirWise Data and Analytics Platform (ADAP)
ADAP offers an efficient, integrated solution that streamlines the process of transforming raw data into actionable insights. It supports operators in designing autonomous flights in 3D, which are inherently safer; for surveys, structures, or corridor scans. The platform also provides comprehensive documentation for FAA compliance, LAANC* authorizations, and Fleet Management*.
Moreover, ADAP comes with the capacity to handle image processing to produce precise 3D models. It is faster in many cases as it is able to take in both nadir and oblique images at multiple altitudes in a single Flight. GPS, RTK, PPK, and GCPs are all included in producing the 3D models. It then makes viewing, editing**, measuring, and engineering from these photorealistic models a breeze. With its scalability, ADAP is ready to handle national-level operations, making it a perfect fit for large enterprises. ADAP’s pricing makes it ready for serious new entrants. ADAP’s ease of use is for everyone.
The image below demonstrates the 3D photorealistic model output produced by ADAP and is primed for engineering. This was without the use of GCPs or RTK and is merely a baseline level of ADAP’s quality, as adding these components would only improve the model. The data was collected from an ADAP autonomous flight utilizing a 20MP rolling shutter camera, flown at an altitude of 200 feet, capturing oblique images only, executed at a speed of 5 mph over 11 minutes with 400 images total.
For GIS surveyors, ADAP is the toolset, and you are the hero empowering your business to add more value. Plan autonomous Flights with a few clicks. Upload your images for processing and produce your 3D photorealistic model in a few more clicks. Now your engineers, or your client’s engineers, can design, analyze, and decide; faster, better, and safer.
Drone Photograph & AirWise 3D Model
Unlocking the third dimension through advanced drone technology heralds a future of more efficient, accurate, and accessible data acquisition and 3D modeling. The benefits are not just limited to cost savings, improved safety, and revenue generation for service providers but extend to empowering enterprises to reimagine their capabilities and redefine their boundaries.
Let’s get started.
To explore more on how you can benefit from our advanced drone technology and the AirWise Data and Analytics Platform, reach out to us anytime at www.airwisesolutions.com. We’re ready to help you navigate your path to the third dimension!