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Surveying with Drones

  • 1.  Surveying with Drones

    Posted 11 February 2019 23:24
    Hi Everyone,
    I was wondering if anyone uses photogrammetry to undertake for surveys with Drones? (to calculate landfill & quarry Volumes, surveys for road designing)

    I have read previous articles, but was interested in feedback from actual users (not just the salesperson)
    • What hardware do you use?
    • What processing software do you use? - both with the drone and for processing your volumes (e.g. MAGNET or the like)
    • Any pitfalls you've encountered?
    • Would you change anything if you did it again?
    Cheers,

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    Matt Kinkead
    Coordinator Project Development and Design
    Richmond Valley Council
    matt.kinkead@richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au
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  • 2.  RE: Surveying with Drones

    Posted 12 February 2019 20:50
    Hi Matt,

    We are at the start of using one at Blayney, but are about to ramp it up considerably.

    We have used a Phantom 4 for the survey, and Drone 2 Map for the processing. The computer you process it on is key, if you have a heavily CUDA accelerated computer, you will cut the processing time down by some 60-70% from just CPU processing (in my experience). The processing is hugely intensive, and will basically lock down a computer until it is complete. If you can have a dedicated machine for it that would improve efficiency a bit.

    Using it for road design can pose some issues. The survey can-not penetrate vegetation, so it is easy to get large errors on grassed areas. We tried to use it to augment some LIDAR survey data, but could not get it to correlate well enough in the vegetated area.

    Blayney is still running CivilCAD, and it is completely inadequate for dealing with the quantity of points that are generated by LIDAR/Photogrammetry, not sure how Magnet might work.

    At Blayney, we are currently investigating the upscaling of our works with it, and looking at a DJI Phantom 4 RTK to achieve accuracy around 30mm after processing. Whilst this probably isn't needed for quarries/waste, we are hoping to use it as a monitor/measure on road works jobs to determine the precise quantity of works completed, and what is remaining on a weekly basis.

    This would also include the processing being completed in the cloud, so not locking out one of our systems whilst the processing is completed.
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