Project Description

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Internal Drone Project: Volumetric Survey by Elios 2

Perthshire, Scotland
Winter Salt Storage Domes

Flight Goals:

  • Survey the salt stockpiles within the storage domes.
  • Create a 3D model using photogrammetry
  • Calculate salt volumes using cut and fill analysis

Key elements of project:

  • Use of an Elios 2 drone to carry out an internal volumetric survey
  • Use of internal photogrammetry without access to the RTK/GPS network

During a standard external (or outdoor) survey our drones can gather position data from GPS or the RTK network. Within indoor environments this is not possible, so an alternative triangulation system is required. The Elios 2 drone is primarily designed for internal inspections, to eliminate the risks of placing personnel within confined spaces, at height or in polluted environments. The Elios 2 records high resolution visual data and thermal data, transmitting this back to the operator live. The inspection can then be interrogated on site as it happens, allowing immediate further investigation of any issues as they are noticed.

To calculate the salt stockpile volume, the UAV 365 team required visual data to form a 3D model. In order to do this safely in an indoor environment, the Elios 2 was deployed, capturing high resolution imagery of the interior space.

Equipped with an onboard lighting system, the Elios 2 is able to flood the subject area with light, allowing the capture of high resolution visual data in totally dark environments. Within the salt domes, this lighting was used to illuminate the rear of the stockpile, allowing the intersection with the retaining wall to be identified.

The gathered data was processed, producing a 3D model which then provided the volume calculations.

Project Details


Internal Volumetric Survey of Salt Stockpile

Key Data
  • GSD <1cm/pixel
  • 2326 images collected
  • Flight Time: 40 minutes
  • Flight Height – 50cm – 3m

Project Gallery

internal survey of a salt dome stockpile using the Elios 2
internal survey of a salt dome stockpile using an Elios 2 drone
3D model produced from an internal survey of a salt dome stockpile using the Elios 2

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