The construction industry has traditionally been slow to adopt new technologies, however, it has become one of the fastest-growing adopters of commercial drones – and it’s clear why.
Drones provide significant efficiency gains for construction firms in their day-to-day operations. Whether it be the fast, accurate and quick data they collect, the safety they provide staff or their incredible cost savings.
Deploying drones for surveying and mapping operations is significantly more effective than traditional methods used in construction.
Drones have a wide range of uses in the construction industry, including:
Inspection – carrying out traditional inspections on high structures such as roofs, bridges, towers, and scaffolding usually requires advanced planning, costly access arrangements and personnel working at dangerous heights. In contrast, drone surveys are a quicker, safer, and cheaper inspection method. The surveyor on the ground receives accurate, real-time feedback on the asset being inspected from a safe position.
Construction Mapping & 3D Modelling – innovative drone software systems allow data collected to be converted into accurate, virtual 3D models. This is extremely useful for project tracking and analysing measurements such as elevations, volumes, distances and surfaces.
Progression Monitoring – construction progress reports are a logistical challenge every time they need to be carried out, requiring a mass amount of planning and staff when an asset’s progress needs updating. When the information on a site is collected, it is often inaccurate and hard to judge any distinct changes.
A regular drone flight can provide a faster way of recording and visualising project progress. Through a series of aerial shots and high-quality videos, project stakeholders can be given a better insight into the progress that has been made. With thermal and zooming capabilities, you can spot problems before they arise – saving time and costs.
Security & Maintenance – the visual capabilities of drones make them excellent tools for surveillance and security on construction sites. For example, drone imagery can detect any on-site issues, such as a damaged section of perimeter fence. This can be remedied quickly with temporary fencing installed, reducing the chances of theft and trespass. Additionally, thermal imaging can ensure that issues surrounding overheating or fires can be detected and dealt with from a safe distance.
Risk & Safety Management – where staff need to access hazardous and potentially dangerous locations, drones offer a safer remote alternative. This is particularly apparent when inspecting unstable structures at greater heights, e.g. roofs and bridges.
Cost & Time Savings – drone usage is highly efficient and provides significant cost and time savings. For example, a drone survey can collect a large amount of data in under an hour which would take days with manual surveys. Beyond that, drone inspections do not require huge numbers of staff and expensive access equipment. Ultimately, drone data saves time and money across all stages of a construction project.
High-Quality Data – not only do drones enable you to capture high-quality aerial images, the data collected allows you to create an accurate 3D model of the asset being mapped. As we mentioned earlier, this provides precise measurements such as elevations, volumes, distances and surfaces.
Increased Safety – whether it comes to surveying, inspection or maintenance work – the ability to access and monitor hard-to-reach areas through drones significantly reduces the chances of workers being involved in accidents. Drone imagery can also help to locate a breach in the perimeter of a site more quickly, preventing civilian entry and potential accidents.
First and foremost, we have the newly released DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise. This drone is compact and portable but performs exceptionally well on lengthy construction missions.
With a mechanical shutter, a 56× zoom camera, and an RTK module for centimetre-level precision, the Mavic 3E allows you to capture every detail when mapping and inspecting an asset.
To help you survey at speed and efficiently complete mapping missions, the Mavic 3E’s wide-angle 4/3 CMOS, 20MP sensor has a mechanical shutter to prevent motion blur and supports rapid 0.7-second interval shooting.
Its 45-minute flight time allows you to survey up to 2 square kilometres in a single flight, Quad-antenna O3 Enterprise Transmission ensures a stable connection in a wide variety of complex environments.
The DJI Matrice 300 RTK is the next step up from the Mavic 3 Enterprise, and is a great drone for construction operations. It is compatible with a wide range of payloads that are ideal for mapping and inspection, including the DJI P1, L1 (LiDAR), Share Oblique Cameras and many others that are plug-and-play.
The M300 boasts on-board omnidirectional collision avoidance systems. The dual vision and ToF sensors on all six sides of the aircraft have an effective detection range of 40 metres, giving it amazing obstacle avoidance and situational awareness.
Thanks to its impressive 55-minute flight time (real world with a 1kg payload is approx 30 minutes) and 9-kilometre transmission range, you can survey large areas in one flight. If you run out of charge, the hot-swappable battery allows you to pick up exactly where you left off. It’s designed to withstand the harshest conditions and has an operating temperature between -20℃ – 50℃.
If you’re after a robust drone that can comprehensively handle all your construction needs, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK is an excellent choice.
Drones are an invaluable tool for those operating in the construction industry. They have an incredible number of use cases, from inspection and mapping to improving security and monitoring progression.
Enabling you to reduce costs, increase time savings and achieve excellent operational efficiency.