Drone photogrammetry and surveying is a technology that uses drones to capture aerial images of an area. These images can be used to create 3D models of the area, measure distances and areas, and monitor changes over time. Drone photogrammetry and surveying is used in a variety of industries, including construction, agriculture, mining and public safety.
Some of the benefits of using photogrammetry and topography performed by drones are:
– It is faster and more efficient than traditional methods.
– Allows access to areas that would be difficult or impossible to reach on foot.
– It is safer than traditional methods.
Drone photogrammetry and surveying is an emerging technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way data is collected and analyzed.
Some of the surveying works or services that are performed with drones are:
Photogrammetry is an ancient technique that has experienced a renaissance thanks to the advancement of faster and more accessible technologies. By capturing high-definition images using drones or ground-level cameras, photogrammetry allows for the three-dimensional reconstruction of photographed objects or scenes. These three-dimensional models can be used in Computer Aided Design (CAD) or Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.
This technology is versatile and can be applied to a wide range of objects and scenarios, from small statuettes to complete infrastructures and buildings, including scarps and hydrogeological instabilities, bridges, archaeological excavations, power lines and new roads, among others. Photogrammetry has become a powerful tool for accurate analysis and documentation of various situations in multiple industries, allowing for better planning, design and project management.
Through the use of drones, highly accurate digital terrain models can be generated, such as the DSM (Digital Surface Model), which represents both the ground surface and the objects present on it, such as buildings and trees. You can also create the DTM (Digital Terrain Model), which is a clean terrain model that excludes the upper elements.
These topographic surveys are used for an immediate understanding of the configuration of the terrain as a function of its altitude. They are essential for carrying out hydraulic assessments, designing lamination systems, evaluating the safety of locations for new construction or other purposes.
Digital terrain models are highly useful tools for understanding surface water movement patterns, especially in situations of floods, landslides and other hydrological events. With these models, informed decisions can be made and detailed analyses can be performed to improve project planning and management in a variety of geographic contexts.
The three-dimensional representation can be visualized through interactive 3D visualization platforms or exported as 3D point clouds for further processing in Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) environments. It is also possible to materialize these models through 3D printing, creating, for example, physical prototypes to scale.
This system excels in situations where data needs to be captured in a timely manner and cannot be recreated later, such as archaeological excavations, traffic accident scenes, landslides and complex technological structures. The restitution of 3D models also finds applications in archaeology, reconstruction of automobile accidents, geological analysis, seismic and structural evaluations, as well as in obtaining Certificates of Static Suitability.
These three-dimensional models allow a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the captured objects and scenarios, facilitating research, informed decision making and project development in various technical and scientific disciplines.
Orthophotos are aerial or satellite images that have undergone geometric corrections to obtain an accurate and undistorted representation of the earth’s surface. These images can be captured from a zenithal perspective, providing a top-down view to visualize urban areas, lots, building rooftops, parks and gardens, or from an oblique perspective, allowing precise elevations of buildings, slopes, vertical rocks and other features.
To ensure their usefulness, orthophotos must be georeferenced, i.e., projected at the correct scale and with precise geographic coordinates. Depending on the required accuracy, these images can be scaled metrically with high precision or georeferenced by geographic coordinates.
The georeferencing method used will depend on the specific purpose of the survey, and the most appropriate approach will be selected to ensure an accurate and measurable representation of the terrain in question. Orthophotos are a valuable tool in various applications, such as cartography, urban planning, land management, environmental analysis and engineering studies, among others.
Topographic surveying using drones (UAS) is a technique that allows flying and reconstructing large areas, such as quarries, cliffs, riverbanks, streams, rock walls,…
To achieve reliable and accurate surveys with drones, it is essential to have high quality professional equipment, a suitable camera and technical expertise in handling the technology.
In addition, it is essential to support the drone survey with a detailed topographic base, using on-site control points (GCP) or points geometrically surveyed with topographic total stations or GPS systems, which act as a reference for the georeferencing of the relief and guarantee an optimal result.
The use of drones for the survey allows us to obtain a dense point cloud, which is similar to sampling thousands of points with a GPS system. This point cloud becomes the starting point for any subsequent topographic elaboration.
Another use of drones in topography is the surveying of infrastructures or buildings using advanced techniques such as photogrammetry or laser scanners.
Through photogrammetry, we obtain a 3D model that represents the geometric relief in great detail, while we can also examine the material relief to detect any anomalies such as cracks, landslides and critical points.
In addition, we have the capability to perform thermographic monitoring to support and complement the data collected.
Therefore, a survey can focus on the structural verification of a building or structure, through the use of advanced methods that allow us to provide detailed and valuable information to ensure the integrity and safety of the infrastructure or buildings under study.
Facade erection is a complex task involving challenges such as difficult access positions, significant heights, irregular symmetries and potentially unsafe areas. From the point of view of the technical approach, solutions are offered for the precise lifting of facades and elevations in renovation projects, redevelopment or energy improvement of buildings.
If even higher accuracy is required, photogrammetric surveying can be integrated with the use of laser scanners or LiDAR. This extra surveying support, coupled with the expertise of trained surveyors, are the ones who use tools such as GPS, total stations and laser stations according to the specific needs of the project.
An additional benefit of photogrammetry in facade surveying is the ability to obtain detailed information about the materials used and possible deterioration. This is especially relevant in historic or protected buildings, where it requires non-invasive techniques, with a thorough analysis of the surfaces, their structure and the materials used. This photogrammetric restitution technique allows these aspects to be fully appreciated and documented, providing valuable support for the conservation and restoration of architectural heritage.