How can drone construction software streamline your day-to-day workflows? Construction crews around the world are surveying with drones at every stage of the project lifecycle, creating efficiencies that enable better decision making that leads to greater safety and sustainability on the jobsite.
Obtaining accurate, up-to-date surveys of construction sites is easy and affordable. After flying your site and uploading your data to the Propeller Aero all-in-one processing platform, you get quick access to accurate 3D models of your site that enable better bidding, volumetric measuring, and progress tracking. Read on to learn how to use drone data to streamline your construction workflows.
How construction drone mapping works
Starting a drone survey program for your construction company isn’t as hard as you think. It doesn’t even require you to be a highly skilled pilot, but you do need to be licensed to operate a drone in many regions.
In addition to meeting licensing requirements, you also need the right drone for your business. Most companies determine that the best solution for their needs is a PPK, or Post-Processing Kinematic workflow. This involves flying the site with an RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) drone and using Propeller Aero’s ground control points to act as a base station, matching data collected in flight to GPS coordinates. PPK workflows provide a greater level of accuracy and reliability for every survey. As you’ll learn below, it takes more than just the right type of drone or ground control points to create useful 3D maps.
The right software matters
While many companies looking to adopt a drone survey program focus on the hardware—the drone itself—it’s really the software that does the heavy lifting, transforming data collected in flight into usable 3D maps. After you’ve captured your data, processing platforms like Propeller Aero’s all-in-one photogrammetry solution stitches images together, pins them to ground control positions, then finds overlaps and common points to make a 3D reconstruction of the topography and essential features of your jobsite.
Since so much data is processed from a single survey—not to mention when you work with multiple surveys simultaneously—a cloud-based software solution is essential. Propeller’s cloud-based platform means you don’t have to invest in the powerful computing that’s required to process masses of drone data into 3D models. Plus, anyone working on the jobsite or in the office can instantly access these models from the cloud, enabling better collaboration and sharing.
Benefits of drone data for construction workflows
Now that you understand how to survey your worksite by drone, it’s time to learn about some of the benefits you’ll reap with drone survey data and 3D maps of your jobsites. Some of the most common surveying workflows include:
- Better bidding. For many construction companies, a profitable project depends upon accurate bidding. Drone surveys provide valuable pre-construction insights for construction teams and accurate volume calculations that can help them develop competitive bids to win more projects.
- Quick, accurate volumetrics. One of the most popular drone use cases for construction is volumetrics. Drone survey data enables you to calculate volumes quickly and accurately. By surveying your site frequently, you have access to cut/fill volumes and other analytics required for tracking job progress. In addition, many companies that operate their own quarries can take advantage of frequent updates on volumes.
- Compare progress against design. Earthworks teams use drone surveys to compare current ground levels against the plan, ensuring work stays on track and enabling swift decision making that reduces rework. In the Propeller Platform, you can overlay design surfaces on your current 3D model of the site, helping you understand whether or not volumes and elevations are matching design.
- Dispute resolution. Disputes are common in the construction field. Frequent surveys offer a timeline of what work was done and when, so you can accurately compensate your contractors based on the work they’ve completed. You always have an audit trail—in the cloud—of the physical state of the site at every point of the construction project. This shows contractors and stakeholders what material was moved and when.
Drones are positively impacting the construction industry
Most construction projects are complex, with plenty of moving parts—that’s why accurate data, progress tracking, and accountability are so important. Drones are helping construction teams solve problems more quickly and can even help them anticipate potential problems that can halt progress on a job. By surveying with a drone and using Propeller’s Platform to process the data you collect in flight, you can streamline your day-to-day workflows and make better, data-driven decisions.