The civil engineering industry faces new challenges on a constant basis. An increased awareness of Health, Safety and Environmental risks has resulted in major changes in working practises on and off site. These changes have delivered improvements that in turn protect employees, but the industry is always looking to improve.
New and innovative technologies emerge in response to a problem in need of a solution or a process in need of improvement. The latest overlap of advancing technology and civil engineering is very apparent with the increased use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) – known more commonly as drones.
Where UAV technology has been implemented, significant improvements in safety, efficiency and cost-effectiveness have already been achieved. Drone technology is becoming more accessible and operations of all sizes and complexities have the opportunity to incorporate it into their workflow.
UAV technology can be applied throughout all phases of construction. Pre-construction surveys, site planning, stockpile management, progress monitoring, asset management and site security are just a few examples.
Data captured by drone can be converted to 3D models, which in turn provide interactive visuals on a platform that can be accessed globally. Seamless integration with a range of software packages including CAD, BIM and GIS make for a smooth transition when handling the data. UAV technology makes surveying a site dramatically safer while continuing to produce reliable data that can be processed quickly, ultimately reducing costs.
Operations within surveying and mapping industries have seen significant advances in efficiency and accuracy with the introduction of RTK systems built into UAV’s. Survey grade data can now be collected in a fraction of the time compared with conventional methods while continuing to produce highly accurate data. Inspections can be done on both external areas and in confined internal areas. In confined space inspection, or inspections at height, the only way to truly remove risk to personnel is through use of a drone flown by a professional pilot.
Inclusion of drone technology within civil engineering is inevitable. Applications for the technology are extensive and provide numerous benefits that often can’t be matched through the traditional practices that are currently in place.
Within this blog a selection of uses for drones have been mentioned, highlighting areas where they can increase safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness. UAV 365 continue to see increased opportunities for our drone services within the engineering sector and we are always happy to informally discuss new ideas, so please feel free to get in touch.