December 28, 2022

Drone Inspections and Surveys in London

Londons Thames a view from 400 feet
the London skyline

What is a Drone Survey?

Drone surveys are a method of collecting photographic or video data using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The data captured by a drone during a survey can be used to map a site (in both 2D and 3D), provide thermal imaging, and generate information about the topography of a landscape. Drones use a mixture of photogrammetry, GPS and LiDAR to provide surveyors, architects, engineers, and others with accurate, real-time data about a site.

What is a Drone Inspection?

A drone inspection is a type of drone survey whereby the operator is specifically looking at the condition of a structure. Drones are commonly used to inspect hard-to-reach areas such as roofs, chimneys and guttering. The real-time photographs give homeowners, homebuyers and surveyors an accurate depiction of the condition of a structure that would otherwise be difficult to survey.

a drone roof survey of a warehouse in London
the drone commercial inspection

Why Should I Commission a Drone Survey in London?

Drones provide individuals and businesses with a safe, quick and non-intrusive method of data collection. Whether this be for an inspection or for mapping purposes, drones are a fantastic way of assessing areas that would otherwise be difficult, or impossible, to assess.

  • Safety First
Drones are a much safer way of surveying a site than traditional methods of surveying. There are no ladders, scaffolding or cherry pickers required, which means a lower risk of workplace accidents. Instead, just one or two drone operators are required to pilot the drone from the ground. In addition to this, structures that are suspected to contain harmful materials, like asbestos, can be examined from a safe distance by a drone.
  • Speedy Surveying

Drones collect a large amount of data very quickly. In fact, a typical three-bedroom house can be surveyed by a London drone survey company in as little as 20 minutes, and the data processed in a matter of hours. This depends on the site area, the sophistication of the mapping required, and the desired resolution of any images and videos. The closer the drone is to the subject, the higher the quality of the images and videos produced, but the longer the survey will take.

  • Non-Intrusive

Drone surveys and drone inspections are also non-intrusive, which is perfect for older London buildings, which may be fragile or protected. Drones can accurately examine these fragile sites from the air, so that the external walls, grounds, roof and chimneys can be assessed without laying a finger on them. This reduces the chance of damage to both the structure and the person surveying it.

  • Access All Areas

By utilising drone surveys, businesses and individuals can assess their land from above instead of (or as well as) on the ground. This means that hard-to-reach areas, for example overgrown areas or sites on steep terrain, can be surveyed just as accurately as other parts of the site. This is particularly useful for examining all the nooks and crannies of a London site, with minimal disturbance to neighbours or passers-by.

  • High Accuracy

Lastly, drone surveys can produce a large amount of very accurate data. Drones nearly eliminate the potential for human error when it comes to taking measurements, gathering global positioning data and producing maps. Data from drones can be used to create orthomosaic maps, three-dimensional maps and models, thermal imaging maps and terrain maps.

setting up on site at a London location
setting up on #location

What are London Drone Surveys Used For?

the air map showing Londons restricted flight areas
London air map with restricted areas

Drone surveys have many uses in commercial, industrial and residential parts of London. If you’re looking for a London drone survey company then get in touch with us today.

  • Commercial Uses

Drones are most commonly used commercial to conduct property surveys and to take promotional photographs and videos. They are extremely useful for examining the condition of a property’s guttering, roof, chimney and garden, and are usually used in addition to traditional interior home surveys. 

Estate agents and letting agents also frequently use drones to gather stunning aerial images and videos of high-end properties for sale or for rent. Drone photography captures the environment around a property, or properties, making it easy to see how the buildings fit into the landscape.

In addition to these uses, drones are now being used commercially for deliveries, conservation efforts, and for legal disputes and insurance claims.

  • Industrial Uses

Drones are used in industrial sectors like agriculture, construction, engineering and energy. 

Farmers can more easily survey their land and livestock using drones than they can on foot. This initial financial and time investment saves farmers endless hours logging the position of their livestock and monitoring the health of their crops.

Drone surveys are also used at almost every stage of the construction process. From acquiring and analysing a site, through to producing promotional images at the end of the project, UAVs are an invaluable tool. The real-time, accurate data can be used by builders, architects and engineers to keep the project on track from start to finish.

UAS surveys are now more commonly being used in the energy sector to replace dangerous jobs like inspecting faulty transmission infrastructure. Thermal imaging capabilities of drones are also used by governments and private companies to assess the energy efficiency of London buildings.

any residential location in London requires an expert eye for a drone inspection
a residential location with London city in the background
  • Residential Uses

Drones can provide homeowners with accurate information about properties being sold and bought in London. They are particularly useful for carrying out roof and chimney inspections, supplemental to a Homebuyers Survey. They are great for getting stunning overhead shots of a property that can become a keepsake, to pass down the generations of your family. Hobby drones are also flown by many individuals recreationally.

Drone Licencing and Regulations in London

Drone operators in the UK must be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), regardless of whether they are flying the drone recreationally or commercially. Those operating UAVs will be required to pass an online safety test to assess their competence and knowledge of the regulations.

Due to the rules surrounding drone use, it can be hard to fly drones in London without extra permissions from the CAA. Drones must be flown at least 50m away from people, and at a height of no more than 120m. UAV operators must adhere to rules surrounding No-Fly Zones such as airports, government buildings and prisons.

If you require drone surveying in the UK, contact HeliDrone Surveys for more information about their services.

Article written by admin
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