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Solid Waste Industry Embraces Drones: Transforming Topographic Mapping and Airspace Measurement

As recently published in Waste Advantage Magazine - October 2017 issue

The landfill industry’s adoption of drones is quickly reaching a tipping point. It is estimated that approximately 15 percent of all landfill operations are using drones for their aerial mapping; it is widely believed that within three years over 80 percent of all landfills will be regularly using drones in their operations.

Waste Advantage - Drones

With all of the press attention on drones and the beginning of real commercial adoption, landfill operators of all sizes are exploring and in many cases realizing the benefits that drones can bring to their organizations. “Drones are being used at an increasing number of waste disposal facilities.....click here for MORE

Drones - Landfill Mapping

Prince Tetteh Joins DroneView Technologies as Mapping Production Manager

Prince Headshot.jpg

DroneView Technologies announced today that Prince Tetteh has joined the company as Mapping Production Manager, a newly created position.

Mr. Tetteh spent the past 17 years at Rowe Professional Services Company/Air-Land Surveys, Flint, MI where he was responsible for photogrammetric processing, project management and aerial mapping. 

Michael Singer, CEO of DroneView Technologies, adds, "Prince brings experience and expertise to all of our service offerings including drone, piloted aircraft and LiDAR acquisition.  He will enhance DroneView Technologies capabilities further in many areas including powerline utility mapping, land planning, mine planning, airport mapping, topography and stockpile inventories. We are very excited to have Prince join our team."

Drones: The Game Changer

Pit and Quarry magazine featured DroneView Technologies as part of their coverage of Drones in the Aggregates and Mining Industry in their August 2017 Drone supplement

 

Pit and Quarry:   Drones: The Game Changer
Topics Include:

·      Drones, An Evolving Space by Kevin Yanik, editor of Pit and Quarry

·      Measuring Stockpile Volumes by Michael Singer, CEO of DroneView Technologies

·      Surveying With A Drone by Jeremiah Karpowicz, editor of Commercial UAV News

·      Grasping the Legalities by Lewis Graham, CEO of GeoCue Group

Pit  & Quarry: Measuring Stockpile Volumes by Michael Singer, CEO DroneView Technologies

Pit  & Quarry: Measuring Stockpile Volumes by Michael Singer, CEO DroneView Technologies

Surveying with a Drone

The 25 Most Influential People in the Commercial Drone Industry

As recently highlighted in Commercial UAV News, DroneView Technologies' CEO Michael Singer was recently chosen as One of the Most Influential People in the Commercial Drone Industry

Michael Singer, CEO DroneView Technologies

Michael Singer

Who is he?

Michael Stinger is DroneView Technologies’ CEO, a company focused on collecting and processing aerial data through various services, such as stockpile volumetric measurement; aerial mapping, topography and 3D modeling; inspection and asset monitoring.

Why is he on our list?

In 2014, Michael used the knowledge on technology he acquired through his previous professional roles and joined the commercial drone market seeking a new business opportunity, together with DroneView Technologies. After only two years of experience in the commercial drone market, Michael led DroneView to fly hundreds of successful missions for clients in over 20 different states throughout the country.

Michael recognizes that in order to achieve accurate, consistent, repeatable results from drones requires numerous discrete skills and expertise, properly integrated together that range from Project Planning, Equipment/Software Selection, Image (or LiDAR) Acquisition, Photogrammetric Data Processing, Reporting Data Storage and Archival.

What to look out for?

Michael thinks the commercial drone industry will face a tipping point in 2017, where large organizations will move from exploring how to incorporate drones into their operations to widespread mainstream implementation. He also thinks technology enabled service offerings coupled with the requisite domain expertise will be the pathway for widespread enterprise drone adoption.

DroneView will continue to improve and extend its services where the benefits of using drones to collect and process aerial image/video data yield value.

Mid Year Update: Adoption of Drones in Large Companies Reaching a Tipping Point

Over the last six months we have seen a great deal of change in the drone industry.  

  • There has been tremendous interest and growth in demand for aerial mapping utilizing drones in numerous industries including aggregates, mining, construction and solid waste businesses.  In many cases drone usage has moved to mainstream processes and has replaced traditional alternatives (GPS survey crews, aerial flyovers, etc.)
  • Drones used for asset inspection - cell towers, wind turbines, bridges, oil and gas pipelines, etc. and insurance inspection have also seen a pickup in interest, albeit still primarily being utilized in pilot evaluation projects as opposed to mainstream inspection processes.
  • Although there has been a great deal of media discussion around drones in precision agriculture there has been very little domestic adoption to date.
  • Cinematography and aerial photography, mainly for real estate marketing purposes, are also seeing high levels of demand.
drone aerial mapping

To date, drone adoption in large companies has taken several forms ranging from

(i) completely outsourcing the drone program to drone service providers

(ii) to developing internal staff and resource capabilities to entirely manage internally

(iii) or a hybrid of combined external drone service provider and internal resources.

Further, we have seen many that initially were pursuing strictly an internally resourced drone program realize that the many varied skills and resources that are required for a successful drone program are very difficult to scale across an enterprise organization and have quickly moved their efforts to a hybrid model.

DroneView Technologies has grown substantially with these new opportunities and continues to add flying and photogrammetric processing resources.  With our focus on accuracy, reliability, scalability, repeatability and safety we have expanded our drone fleet to further leverage both RTK and PPK mapping solutions. All indications have supported these technologies, when they are deployed correctly, providing a means to reduce, but not eliminate the need for numerous measured ground control points.

It is important to remember that while drones have many valuable uses they also have limitation in which they are not the right tool.  We continue to frequently deploy piloted large format image acquisition as well as LiDAR acquisition around the United States as warranted.

DroneView Technologies released an advanced private, secure data portal for clients to view, store and share their aerial imaging and processed mapping projects.

On the technology front, drones continue to evolve with DJI expanding its lead in both the consumer and commercial markets.  Sensefly eBee has emerged as the clear leader in the fixed wing, higher end drone platforms. LiDAR for drone platforms has seen little mainstream adoption as price points have remained very high. LiDAR drone pricing is falling and we expect to see more affordable LiDAR drone solutions over the next few years.

As we reach this tipping point in the drone industry, we anticipate a rosy future for the balance of 2017 and beyond with mainstream drone adoption in enterprise organizations occurring at increasing rates.

 

Benefits of Drones for Landfill Mapping and Airspace Reporting

Most people’s first thoughts when they hear the word ‘landfill’ aren’t airspace calculations and topographical maps, however, to the owners and managers of these solid waste facilities, these are some of the most important aspects of their jobs.

Regulation limits the amount of airspace that landfill operators may use. Thus the optimization of waste placement and thus airspace usage is critical for the operators of solid waste facilities.

Drones in Landfill Mapping

 

Traditionally, landfill managers have used annually piloted airplanes for aerial mapping to get an overhead view of what their entire site actually looks like, and with the help of technology, conduct volume calculations to see exactly how much space the landfill is taking up. These once a year flyovers provide valuable information to the managers and landfill engineers, and help them plan out exactly where to put their waste next as well as helping them to complete their mandatory regulatory reporting.

Today, drones are now able to do many of same things for landfill operators as piloted airplanes.   For many sites, the same output can be created using drones to capture the images, yielding improved accuracy, quicker access to data, enhanced safety and reduced costs. Furthermore, as we have already begun to observe, landfill operators are seeing the operational benefits and are collecting this data with greater frequency, either monthly or quarterly. The planning that was once done annually can now be split up and done more frequently, yielding more accuracy and better site utilization than ever before.