Integrating UAV Data Into Infrastructure Design & Planning

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-6-31-00-pmCivil design and planning are the skeleton structures of modern human civilization. It extends from railways to roads, communications to energy transmission, community planning both above and below ground, and far, far beyond. As we enter the median years of the 21st century, UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones) are becoming integral in the data creation that is behind a great majority of civil engineering. UAV mapping is critical with any design matrix, and as such, few things can match the precision and flexibility of UAVs.

One of the constraints of an older age of infrastructural design and execution was the nature of mapped data. The topography of physical surroundings was difficult, not to mention time-consuming, expensive, and often dangerous. As such, old data was often easier to use than sets created in near real-time. This is no longer. With the advent of UAVs, data can be collected easily and cheaply, with design plans guided by consistently updated data and construction revised based on the same set of details. Traditional on ground methods are still critical, as UAV data has limitations, but the combination has proved to be a step forward for the entire industry.

To utilize UAVs successfully in infrastructure design, having cutting edge software is important; as is the know-how that goes along with years of work in the civil design field. Knowing what data to look for is just as important as knowing how to find it. UAVs introduce new complications to infrastructural data acquisition that were previously rare in the industry. Companies must understand how to create flight plans, along with getting clearances and certifications (such as the new and technical Part 107 rule). In addition, the ability to process and review complex UAV created data sets requires a particular set of skills.

Taken overall, however, UAVs are vital to any modern infrastructure design firm. The uses of the aerial devices are wide-ranging, and offer the ability to provide fundamental data cheaply: conservation efforts monitored mid-air, agriculture projects, mining and undersea mapping. The problem is no longer a lack of data: it’s your ability to process and make sense of huge swaths of information on any given project. UAVs offer the ability to safely explore regions better set aside due to danger and cost, and they do so with a precision that is expanding with great speed.

As such, having a UAV system on hand for UAV mapping is now a must for any civil design firm. ACA stands at the vanguard of this revolution in UAV mapping. A full survey services firm which also includes aerial mapping, our two on-staff UAS experts add to an elite team and offices nationwide. ACA can assist with many logistical aerial issues and questions. Contact us today for more information at 407-851-7880, or you can contact us online.

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