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Different Types of Drone Surveying




Drone Inspections using emesent slam lidar


With their ability to capture high-resolution images and collect precise data from various sensors, drones have become an indispensable tool in the field of land surveying. The different types of drone surveying, such as photogrammetric, LiDAR, thermal, multispectral, and topographical surveying, have opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for industries ranging from construction and agriculture to environmental monitoring and infrastructure inspection.


Photogrammetric Surveying with Drones

One of the most common forms of drone surveying is photogrammetry. Using specialized cameras mounted on drones, photogrammetry involves the collection of images from different angles, which are then processed to create accurate 3D models of terrain, buildings, and objects. By stitching together these images, surveyors can create highly detailed maps and models with precise measurements. Now imagine you're planning a construction site; this type of aerial survey gives you an actual location blueprint in minutes instead of days. 


LiDAR Technology in Aerial Surveys

LiDAR, short for Light Detection and Ranging, is another popular drone surveying technique. LiDAR sensors emit laser beams, which bounce off objects and return to the sensor. By calculating the time it takes for the laser beams to return, drones can create precise 3D models of the surveyed area. LiDAR is particularly useful in mapping dense vegetation, analyzing terrain, and building highly accurate elevation models.


Multispectral Imaging from Above

Multispectral surveying utilizes cameras that capture images in different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. These cameras can detect invisible light, such as infrared and ultra-violet, providing valuable data for various applications. In agriculture, for example, multispectral surveys can analyze crop health, identify disease or nutrient deficiencies, and optimize irrigation techniques, leading to more efficient and sustainable farming practices.


Thermal Surveying

Thermal surveying involves the use of infrared cameras mounted on drones to capture temperature variations in an area of interest. This type of surveying is commonly used in inspecting buildings for insulation leaks, locating heat sources, and assessing solar panel installations. By capturing thermal data, drone surveys can identify energy inefficiencies and provide valuable insights for energy auditing and maintenance.


Topographical Surveying

Topographical surveying involves the measurement and mapping of the physical features of an area, including elevation, contours, and slopes. Drones equipped with high-precision GPS systems and specialized sensors can collect data to create accurate topographical maps. This type of surveying is crucial in fields such as engineering, urban planning, and construction projects, providing essential information for layout design and volume calculations.


The Advantages of Drone Surveying in Modern Industries

Drone surveying offers numerous advantages compared to traditional surveying methods. Firstly, it allows for efficient data collection, significantly reducing the time and cost associated with surveying large areas. Drones can cover vast expanses of land in a fraction of the time it would take traditional surveying methods. Moreover, drone surveys can be conducted in hazardous or hard-to-reach locations, eliminating the need for manual surveying and ensuring the safety of surveyors.

The accuracy of drone surveying is constantly improving, with advancements in technology and data processing algorithms. The data collected from different types of drone surveying is highly precise and reliable, making it an invaluable asset for industries that rely on accurate spatial information.


Finally, drone surveying is cost-effective. Traditional surveying methods often involve significant manpower, equipment, and logistical costs. Drones are relatively affordable and can be operated by a single person, minimizing expenses while providing quick and accurate results.


Drone Surveying for Your Project

With the various types of drone surveying services*available, industries can now access highly detailed and accurate information for decision-making, planning, and resource management. Whether it's construction, agriculture, environmental monitoring, or infrastructure inspection, drones have become an essential tool for professionals in these fields. These technological advancements offer time and cost savings, improved accuracy, and accessibility to areas that were previously difficult to survey. Drone surveying is, therefore, a valuable complement to traditional surveying methods, solidifying its importance within various industries.


*Please note that drone surveying is a generalist term used in the UAS space - we specialize at Extreme Aerial Productions in aerial data collection with 80% of our projects we hire, coordinate with and have an RLS (REGISTERED LAND SURVEYOR) check and be the final say in the data collection methods and what is delivered to clients. We do not act as surveyors or purport that our data is survey grade – that is the job of the Survey companies we work with, hire and work for.

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