Frequently Asked Questions
Where does DroneView Technologies focus?
Drones are “Cool”. While most would agree, DroneView Technologies focuses on commercial applications where the use of aerial image/video data yields discernable, incremental value to customers and where the benefits of using drones clearly exceed all of the associated costs. While there are many viable applications for drone technology, this framing has led us to focus on the following industries and applications: Stockpile Volumetric Measurement, Aerial Mapping and Topography, Inspection and Asset Monitoring, Real Estate and Construction, Marketing: Aerial Photography and Videography.
Why Use UAVs or DRONES?
While the benefits of using drones will vary based on the intended use case, many applications that use drones share the following benefits:
Safety: Allowing for access to dangerous, hard to reach or hazardous areas without the need to put people or equipment at risk
Timeliness: Drones reduce the time from data collection to decision making
Accuracy: Data collected via drones has shown to be as good (if not better) than traditional collection methods
Quality Data: Improves decision making and also provides an archive of images and/or videos to document conditions at specific points in time
Data Archive: Aerial imaging provides a valuable archive of images and video data that is easily archived and readily available for queries
1st Person Perspective: Consistent images for all constituents to review
Frequency: Given the ease and greater availability of drone derived data, business leaders can now have access to more data points to enhance decision making
Cost Savings: In virtually all use cases, aerial data collected via drones is less expensive than traditional alternative methods
What is a Drone Services Company?
Deriving real value from aerial imaging requires the mastery of many skills including drone equipment selection, sensor and camera selection, equipment maintenance, flight operations, image capture, data processing, photogrammetry, mission safety, regulatory compliance, insurance, data archival, data retrieval, insightful reporting among numerous others. In addition, drone technology is changing fast and a drone service company will continuously invest in and deploy the latest technology to best serve a client’s needs and requirements. A Drone Services Company, like DroneView Technologies provides a turn key solution - having developed the expertise and having made the requisite investments to be the single point of contact to enterprise customers that want the results and benefits that aerial imaging can provide without necessitating the significant continuous investments in all of the above noted assets, personnel and capabilities.
Why Use a Drone Services Company?
Customers, large and small, notoriously start the conversation by asking, “Can’t we just buy our own drone and do this ourselves?” Many have experimented, some have crashed and the majority have concluded that flying drones to collect actionable data is not their core business and have returned to the conversation to explore the benefits of using a drone services provider. Some of the many reasons to use a Drone Services Provider include:
Skill: Despite many advances in the capabilities of drone technology, the fact remains that flying drones Safely and Responsibly is a learned skill and our pilots who fly drones on a daily basis are clearly better than those that fly only intermittently.
Safety: Protecting property, assets and people are of utmost importance to all. Reducing the potential of catastrophic consequence from a drone mishap with proper training, equipment maintenance and situational/environmental knowledge is of critical importance.
Try Before You Buy: Understanding how to integrate aerial data into your company’s existing workflow takes time, experimentation and often involves running both processes in parallel.
Resource Optimization – In most companies, employee’s plates are usually pretty full. At an early stage of adoption, is adding “drone guy/gal” to their job description the most efficient use of resources?
Regulatory Compliance – The FAA has a plethora of rules and regulations that one must adhere to in order to operate drones for commercial purposes. Both understanding all of their rules and then complying with them is a significant undertaking.
Insurance – Most commercial insurance policies exclude aviation risk. A company operating drones for commercial purposes requires separate aviation insurance coverage.
Equipment – Not only selecting the right equipment, sensors/cameras and software for your intended tasks but then using it frequently enough to get the value from your purchase is challenging in a market where the equipment is experiencing rapid technological change. Utilizing a drone services provider mitigates the equipment obsolesce risk and significantly lowers your upfront capital outlays.
Software – Keeping current with drone software updates on the drone equipment, which occur frequently, are essential to flying safely and responsibly.
Data Processing – Collecting high quality aerial images is just the beginning. Converting these images into finished products requires significant skills and expensive photogrammetry and editing software combined with powerful and costly computing resources.
Why Choose DroneView Technologies?
DroneView Technologies was founded in late 2014 and has quickly become one of the leading national drone services companies, working with enterprise customers throughout the United States - collecting, processing and extracting real value out of aerial data.
Expertise – DroneView Technologies is led by professionals that have long established careers in technology enabled service businesses. We have assembled a team of experts with complementary skills and expertise to deliver a high value, complete solution to enterprise organizations.
Client Service – at a time where many companies are trying to figure out how and where “drones fit”, DroneView Technologies delivers a best of breed, consultative solution, tailored to your company’s workflow, personnel and IT systems. We have learned what works and conversely what doesn’t and consistently deliver this expertise to our clients from project inception through completion.
Photogrammetry – While collecting aerial images and/or video is cool, in most cases stitching these images together to create 3D models can yield significantly greater value. DroneView Technologies has assembled a team of professionals who are photogrammetry experts and industry leaders in stockpile volumetric measurement, topography, 3D mapping, land survey, amongst others.
National Footprint – DroneView Technologies serves clients throughout the United States.
Data Consistency – No matter if we are delivering images, video, topography, volumetric or inspection reports DroneView Technologies is keenly focused on the importance of consistent and reliable data. We work closely with clients to both define requirements and then deliver this data in a manner that most efficiently fits into your organization’s IT systems and workflow. DroneView Technologies has the flexibility to adapt to unique business requirements and use cases in a manner that becomes standardized and repeatable.
Subject Matter Experts – Being a valued drone services company requires far more that knowing how to fly a drone. DroneView Technologies has assembled teams of experts who bring insightful and deep expertise in aerial data acquisition, photogrammetry, 3D modeling, mapping, GIS, volumetric reporting and significant domain specific expertise in the industries of our clients.
Why Drones Will Be Transformative?
It is not often that a new technology comes along that effectively makes the old methods obsolete. Drones, in certain use cases, are one of those game changing technologies and over the next several years will be truly Transformative.
How does accuracy with drone imaging compare with traditional measurement methods?
Drones consistently are able to deliver highly accurate stockpile measurements. We have measured thousands of stockpiles with drone imaging. We have approximately 950 independent data points with stockpiles measured with laser at the same time as we have measured it with a drone. On average we have seen about 1-2% variance in volumes. We intuitively believed that to be the case, and now empirically have the documentation to support that.
How long does it take to get our volume data?
Drone image data is processed quickly, with customized volumetric reports delivered to clients within 24 – 48 hours.
How Does Drone Measurement of Stockpile Volumes Actually Work?
There are several component parts of this process. Namely, (1) capture the image data (2) photogrammatic processing (3) customized volumetric reporting (4) data storage
1. Aerial Data Capture: DroneView Technologies works with our Client’s team to define requirements – target project area/boundaries, stockpiles for volume measurements, contours and topographic mapping, establishment of ground control points, additional photo/video imaging, etc.
- FAA Site Specific clearances are obtained, if necessary (checking for proximity to airports and/or other restricted areas)
- Appropriate and safe drone take off and landing area is identified and secured
- DroneView Technologies trained and FAA certified pilot reviews established flight plan, performs safety checks and flies the drone mission capturing the requisite images and associated geospatial data
2. Photogrammetric Processing: The images are processed in proprietary cloud based photogrammetric software platform, stitching the images together into a 3D model
3. Customized Volumetric Reporting: DroneView Technologies works closely with our client’s team to perform the volumetric computations and customize the volumetric reporting including specific stockpile naming conventions and density/weight conversions
4. Data Storage: Each time our drones fly a site and capture images large data files are created. DroneView Technologies manages all of the associated IT data storage in highly secure servers while allowing for easy retrieval, as needed.
Where is DroneView Technologies located?
DroneView Technologies has multiple offices and works with clients throughout the United States on small sites with a few stockpiles to large 200+ acre sites with hundreds of stockpiles. While the concepts may seem simple, the execution, consistency and accuracy only come from a solution provider dedicated to this marketplace. The devil is truly in the details and our experience is highly correlated with safety and reporting accuracy.
Can DroneView Technologies work for you?
DroneView Technologies does volumetric measurement work in many industries including coal, fertilizers, iron ore, aggregates, sand, gravel, stone, wood chip, solid waste, rock, cement, dry bulk chemicals, among numerous others.
I am interested in site planning and topograhic mapping. Does DroneView Technologies do this?
In addition to customized volumetric stockpile reports additional reports can be produced and/or downloaded, including: contour and elevation maps, digital surface models, orthomosaic, 3D mesh and point clouds files. Efficiently, accurately and cost effectively getting detailed topographic maps can help with site planning, production forecasting and give a holistic view and more timely understanding of what is going on.
Can DroneView Technologies produce a high resolution aerial picture of our property?
Yes. Many clients like to periodically receive high-resolution aerial photography and videography of their properties for marketing and other purposes. Be sure to let us know in advance as this often requires us to bring additional cameras and equipment.
Where are drones best suited for mapping projects?
Projects of approximately 5 - 500 acreas where field survey crews would spend multiple days in the field collecting data.
Will a drone work for our mapping project?
While drones bring enormous benefit in many situations, we recognize that they are not the right data acquisition platform for all projects. As such, DroneView Technologies offers fixed wing piloted acquisition services, satellite image capture services, laser scanning and traditional field engineering survey solutions as needed throughout the United States. Contact us to discuss your specific requirements.
How does DroneView Technologies achieve survey grade accuracy?
The devil is in the details. Achieving Survey Grade Accuracy does not just happen because you bought a new drone and some photogrammetric software. Establishing Ground Control Points, high quality cameras, accurate geo referenced images, appropriate image overlap are just a few of the many factors that influence a projects true accuracy. The perceived simplicity of some solutions, especially cloud-based options where one just uploads images and out comes a 3D map has the potential to lead to some very poor and unintended results. Be sure that you work with professionals who understand all of these variables and can reliably and consistently deliver true survey grade accuracy.
What deliverables can I expect to receive?
Our trained team of professionals, working closely with licensed surveyors to set ground control points, captures all of the requisite aerial imaging data, processes it and delivers with survey grade accuracy. Clients can choose to receiveorthophotography, topographic maps, digital elevation models (DEM), contours, digital terrain models (DTM), cross-sections, 3D models and high definition aerial photos and videos.
Wind Turbine Inspection
At what stage of a wind turbines life cycle are drones best suited for their inspection?
Throughout the entire life of a wind turbine there are many critical points where high definition drone images and video bring tremendous value and results. These include: Post blade installation and validation; commission inspection before the turbine is put into service; periodic in service blade inspections; end of warranty inspections; end of maintenance contract inspections; event drive inspections from ice, hail, lightening damage; scheduled and unscheduled maintenance; general performance optimizations studies; among other.
Can DroneView Technologies respond quickly in emergency situations?
Despite efforts to properly inspect and maintain wind turbines, from time to time catastrophic structural failures occur. DroneView Technologies has shown that having timely drone pictures and videos of the impacted area is invaluable to facilitating quick damage assessment, better understanding root cause of failure and establishing a safe remediation and repair plan. We are typically able to mobilize and arrive on site within 24 hours, or sooner as the situation necessitates.
Cell Tower Inspection
How do drones improve safety for cell tower inspections?
OSHA, the National Institute of Safety and Health, and the communications construction industry universally agree that there are too many fatalities every year from workers falling from telecommunications towers. Cell tower inspections performed by drones and lidar greatly reduces the need for tower climbers in many situations and thus greatly improves safety and saves lives.
Can DroneView Technologies provide cell tower mapping?
DroneView Technologies has combined drone imaging with LiDAR tower mapping to provide a seamless, turn key solution to tower owners.
What kind of cell tower inspection reports can I expect?
From aerial drone imaging and laser scanning we are able to provide the most thorough cell tower inspection reporting in the market. We offer: Survey and Topography; As-Built Scanning; Antenna Information (plumbness, azimuth, down tilt); 3D modeling; Aerial photography (still photo and video). We have the ability to create point-cloud images that can be used in conjunction with AutoCAD to capture all existing conditions and identify the elevation and dimensions of the entire cell tower matched with aerial photography. The use of laser technology allows the creation of 3D models with a 360-degree visualization, as well as stored accessible data for current and future use.
What other asset types is DroneView Technologies able to inspect with a drone?
DroneView Technologies has research efforts and pilot projects underway in many other inspection markets including Bridges Inspection, Oil and Gas Pipeline Inspection, Flare Stack Inspection, Electric Utility Tower and Transmission line Inspection, Building Façade Inspection, Commercial Roof Inspection, Solar Panel Inspection, Excavation, Waste Management, Environmental Impact, Wetlands, among others. Contact us to see if we can assist with your inspection needs
Real Estate & Construction
How often do you recommend drone flights over our construction site?
This will vary greatly based on your intended use(s) of the imaging. Some companies choose to fly multiple times each day, others choose to do so on a weekly or monthly basis. At a minimum, we recommend capturing imaging at key project milestone points from inception through the project's completion.
Can DroneView Technologies perform inspections of the tall cranes on our construction sites?
Absolutely. That is a perfect use as we are able to get highly detailed imaging without the need to someone to climb to do this mandatory inspection.
Can DroneView Technologies create a time lapsed series oF our construction PROJECT?
Yes with the obvious caveat that we need to be part of the project from inception in order to take the requisite images throughout the project.
Don't see your question? Ask yours below or call 866.235.9400.