What is a Drone Survey?
Drone surveys, or ‘unmanned aerial surveys’, are the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as ‘drones’, to take flyover photographs and footage for use in photogrammetry, 3D mapping, topographic surveys and land surveys.
One of the main types of drone survey is what’s known as an ‘unmanned aerial photogrammetric survey’. This type of survey uses the science of making measurements from photographs to accurately survey land and buildings.
It is becoming more common for businesses to buy or hire a drone for the purpose of conducting drone surveys. Surveys are used to create a point cloud of measurements. These can then be used to construct a three-dimensional model of a site.
Use of Drone Surveys
Drone surveys are now commonly being used by building surveyors, roofing inspectors, construction companies, town planning authorities, estate agents and legal professionals to provide accurate photographic and videographic data in a safe and cost-effective way.
This information collected by drones via aerial surveying is used to help businesses who hire a drone make critical decisions about the status and upkeep of buildings, planning, and property boundaries.
The time saved when conducting aerial drone surveys in comparison to manual methods, which often require a ladder or crane set up, is a huge benefit to businesses who hire a drone across the UK. Not only does it allow businesses to operate more efficiently, but it also saves them money too.
Advantages of Drone Surveys
Drone surveys are widely regarded as a safer, more accurate and more cost-effective way to survey a site. Particularly for building surveyors who hire a drone, drone surveys are an invaluable tool as they mean that previously unreachable locations and fragile structures can be examined without intrusion.
Drones are smaller than other equipment used to survey a site, such as ladders, cranes and heavy cameras. They can be transported to sites by car, and fewer people are needed to operate one. The cost to the survey company and clients hiring the drone are lowered, because fewer people being needed on site.
Drones are effective at operating during different weather conditions, including in cloudy and wet conditions. Drones reduce the risk of calling-off surveys last minute, which can be a costly and time-intensive problem for surveyors.
The advantages of using drone surveys when it comes to the safety of operators is perhaps the most important one. The reduced need for ladders, cranes and heavy equipment means that drones reduce the risk of workplace accidents. This is in comparison with using traditional methods of surveying.
Just one person can carry out drone surveys. Survey companies do detailed risk assessments and flight path planning in advance to prevent the risk of injury. In addition to this, the strict regulations surrounding drone usage in the UK means that everyone who operates a drone must be registered and cannot fly a drone within 50m (horizontally) of a person unless they have been granted permission.
Disadvantages of Drone Surveys
The regulation of drones by the CAA is also a disadvantage to those hiring a drone for drone surveys.
Licensing conditions and insurance mean that the set-up costs of using drones in your business higher than some are prepared to pay. However, most are in agreement that the benefits of incorporating drone surveys in to your business outweigh the downsides of the initial investments.
In addition to this, there is a limit to the size of the site area that smaller commercial drones are able to survey. Usually, undertaking multiple drone flights deals with this problem. This lengthens the time and planning needed to conduct the survey, and may increase the cost.
Drone Survey Companies: How to Hire a Drone
London drone survey companies such as HeliDrone Surveys offer drone surveying services in London and the rest of the UK.
HeliDrone Surveys use commercial-grade drones and advanced mapping equipment to extract all the necessary data from your site. Three-dimensional mapping and integration with Google Maps are available. With high-resolution images and videos, minimal disruption and low risk to safety, HeliDrone Surveys is a London drone survey company that can satisfy all your aerial survey needs.