Drones are helping Qatar score some impressive goals ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
Major drone company 3DR is joining forces with engineering consultancy Arcadis to launch inspection drones as part of the massive Orbital Highway project in the city of Doha. The 14-lane expressway will span nearly 30 miles and is targeted for completion in 2018 – four years ahead of Qatar’s hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
As the lead project designer Arcadis deployed 3DR’s Site Scan drone data platform with a high-resolution 20.1MP Sony R10C and Autodesk integration in preparation for the winning bid on the project.
“Our main deliverable for this project was volumetric calculations,” Arcadis manager Paul Kawuma said.
“When we were preparing the business case and looking for a drone solution, Site Scan stood out compared to alternatives. We liked how easy it was: we could trace the area to survey using the tablet, then the drone will fly itself and capture the images. We could then upload the images directly from the drone to the cloud—which plays a key role in streamlining the drone to data process—and they start processing into orthomosaics and other deliverables automatically.”
Arcadis especially relied on one of Site Scan’s newest features – cloud-based Ground Controlled Points (GCP) processing.
“In the market we’re in, we’re realizing that drone surveys can be done 10X faster than traditional topographic surveys,” Arcadis Business Director Liam Kirk said.
“While we continue to work with licensed surveyors to collect control points and validate accuracy, the drone is a great addition to our platform.”
While a traditional survey takes about three hours, the drone survey finished in 20 minutes while capturing 1.5 million data points compared to 197 points by traditional methods. The result, Arcadis officials said, yielded far more accurate elevation profiles
“When it comes to ease and efficiency, drones are taking surveying to a whole new level,” Kirk said.
For 3DR, construction drone projects are becoming a meat-and-potatoes revenue stream. In a recent interview, 3DR CEO Chris Anderson said his company’s decision to integrate Site Scan software with DJI drones may push more construction companies to use drones for aerial job-site tasks.
“For a construction company, there are three dimensions that matter — time, cost and quality,” Anderson said. “You can only manage what you can measure, so if you could measure a project better, then you could manage it better and therefore it would be faster, cheaper and better. Drone scanning is just one of the tools that allows you to measure that site better.”