Commercial UAV Expo content at Amsterdam Drone Week  

September 3-5, 2024  •  Caesars Forum  •  Las Vegas

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Session Details

Surveying & Mapping: Case Studies and Lessons Learned

Sep 07 2023

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM PDT

Room 306

Many professionals have come to realize how much data can be gathered in a safe, reliable, and cost-effective manner via drones, but surveyors in particular have come to understand that they can do more with less by using drones. What does it mean to create drone and data collection operations tailored to specific surveying and mapping projects? How can workflows be developed from the surveying side? Do you need 2mm accuracy for every job? What happens when you capture more data than needed? 

These questions will be explored and answered across a series of presentations that detail how drone technology is being used to create value for surveyors in various capacities.

Session moderated by Thomas Haun, Turner Staffing Group

Ingredients For a Successful Drone Program in Surveying & Mapping

In this very interactive session, Robert Wilhite will dive into all the necessary ingredients it took to establish a successful UAS Division that services the Surveying & Mapping sector. He will also share why BVLOS Waivers were a focus from the beginning and what his (2) BVLOS Waiver approvals means for the industry.

Are you or your company considering a UAS program? If you already have a UAS program, are you struggling to be profitable? Do you anticipate a future need to scale a UAS program? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this presentation was designed specifically for you.

Robert Wilhite, LJA Surveying

ASPRS Best Practices and Guidelines for UAS – Photogrammetry & Lidar

Best practices and guidelines in both UAS photogrammetry and lidar will be published through ASPRS for the first time. They will be included as addendums to the updated ASPRS Positional Accuracy Standards for Digital Geospatial Data. Photogrammetry UAS has, by de facto, become a somewhat established method of precise mapping with exceedingly high accuracy. There is a rapid technological improvement in camera and camera sensor technology for mapping. Photogrammetry UAS is well-equipped for the future. Lidar systems available to UAS represent a wide range of sensor capabilities in terms of achievable accuracy and precision compared to larger scanning systems. Some systems designed for UAS are specified to capabilities beyond FAA regulated height and area limits in terms of power and range and may be adaptable to larger, crewed aircraft. All of the principles of aerial lidar and photogrammetry measurement apply to lidar UAS. The challenge of these addendums has been to provide distinct considerations, and practical guidelines as they pertain to a smaller, more dynamic and nuanced system. The goal of these addendums are: to provide common guidelines and recommendations for acquiring accurate data without regard to any specific sensor or manufacturer; to assist companies and agencies in establishing standards for their organization; and, to support the user in producing accurate map products with integrity and professional responsibility.

Jacob Lopez, Towill, Inc. 

Grand Canyon Drone Project – Informing Design and Transforming the Grand Canyon National Park Water System Project

Grand Canyon National Park, in Northern Arizona, is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It encompasses an impressive 278 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands and averages over ten miles wide. To support work to modernize the Grand Canyon Water System – which serves thousands of residents and millions of visitors annually – we leveraged drones, survey and lidar to capture high-resolution orthomosaic imagery, point cloud data, digital surface models, video and still images. We will cover how we utilized these deliverables for our engineering, environmental, geotechnical and inspection work. We also developed a digital twin of the four areas and will showcase examples of each product. Learn how we differentiated this project with extended context and precise data by leveraging a more comprehensive view of the built and natural world… and what better place to do this than in the Grand Canyon.

Carlos Femmer, HDR Engineering, Inc.

Survey Ground Control Techniques for Aerial Lidar, Photogrammetry and Bathymetric Applications

This presentation will focus on various techniques to capture UAV photogrammetry and Lidar ground control (GCP's). This will include: RTK, PPK, Static and PPP (RTX). Basic statistical reporting, analysis and deliverable metadata will be discussed. GNSS hardware and field software, along with various apps and freeware will be reviewed for applicable workflows. This presentation will focus on an actual survey Green was involved with establishing GCP control from the Mexican Border to the Hoover Dam along the Lower Colorado River. Additionally, problems encountered and how they were solved along with project preplanning will be included as well.

Robert Green, Frontier Precision

The Use of UAVs and SfM Photogrammetry in Novel Ocean and Coastal Engineering Applications

Since 2017 Coastal Frontiers Corporation has utilized UAV technologies and Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry to augment and improve ongoing coastal and oceanographic monitoring programs in both Southern California and the Alaskan Arctic. These monitoring programs are frequently conducted in highly mobile (waves and water in many images), transient (changing water levels and topography), and homogeneous (sand, snow, and ice) areas, which require a unique approach to both data collection and processing.

In Southern California, we have used UAVs to map changes to the above-water beach, specifically to quantify subaerial beach volumes, map Mean Sea Level shorelines, and provide visually compelling evidence of sediment migration and dynamics. This technology was used to monitor the fate of beneficially re-used dredged material placed on the beaches of Cardiff and Solana Beach as part of the San Elijo Lagoon Restoration Project (SELRP). UAV surveys were performed prior to, during, and following completion of construction activities and continue to be used as part of long-term monitoring of the coastal sites.

In the Alaskan Arctic, we have used UAVs to monitor changes to man-made oil production islands and nearby eroding coastlines. One of the more novel uses of SfM photogrammetric techniques has been in identifying and mapping strudel scour drains during the annual spring freshet, when warm river water floods the nearshore sea ice along the northern Alaska coast.

Brady Richmond, Coastal Frontiers Corporation

Augment the Water Resources and in Turn Decrease the Risk of Droughts

The present international development frameworks are encouraging Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and collaborations for sustainable development. In this connection, the Government of India (GoI)-USAID-UNDP project implementation in Visakhapatnam through Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is encouraging Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and collaborations for Disaster Risk Reduction. This case study is a part of "Natural Drains-Catchment Area Development" project to augment the water resources and in turn decrease the risk of droughts in and around hill catchments and also to minimize soil erosion and flash flooding. The basic inputs for preparation of Detailed Project Report(DPR) are contours, DEM, slope, aspect, sub-catchment boundaries, soil, landuse/landcover and run-off. Majority of these inputs were generated by implementing drone surveys and prepared DPR for implementation of water harvesting structures. The drone survey was implemented due to the risk of high slopes between 20% to 90% in almost all the hillocks.

Ramesh Naidu Chalumuri, GVP College of Engineering

Have questions for the speakers or moderator? Submit your questions and comments for consideration below.

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Turner Staffing Group

GVP College of Engineering(A)

HDR Engineering, Inc.

Towill, Inc.

Frontier Precision Unmanned

Coastal Frontiers Corporation

LJA Surveying

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