UAV Aerial Data Capture for Highly Accurate 3D Models and Volume Calculations

If you follow our activities then you may have noticed recently that our UAV Services Group has been making great strides in delivering UAV-based data collection solutions to a variety of clients in several industries. 

Most notable, some interesting work with clients in construction, site development,  and grading has been very active.

Traditional methods of calculating 3D measurements and stockpile analysis typically involves a manual field survey capture process which is often time consuming, unsafe, and potentially disruptive to a business. By employing newer mehtodologies and technical advances, improvements have been made to the traditional measurement process. GEO Jobe has proved recently that UAV data capture can be even more accurate than terrestrial LiDAR scanners which can often overestimate volume calculations. For example, the team has determined that by flying stockpiles with UAV, 3D point cloud data can be generated to capture side and top surfaces of piles more accurately (See image below).

The GEO Jobe UAV team has been busy working up 3D and point cloud data to perform analysis in 3D to create accurate, high resolution models and conduct volume calculations and analysis. A strength of the team has been conducting research and developing cutting-edge practices for generating high resolution 3D models from UAV derived point cloud data. Additionally, they are realizing tremendous benefits in performing 3D analysis and volumetric calculations from these data. The following are some of the recent projects where the team has employed their analysis for some impressive results.

Stockpile Model

3D model of Stockpile
3D model of Stockpile – By modeling this stockpile, we were able to calculate volume even though it was directly under this shed – that’s some mad flying skills!!  Even though this stockpile was covered and obstructed by the shed canopy, we still were able to model it and provide the 3D point cloud for calculating its volume.

Materials Holding Yard

Material Holding Yard 3D Model
Material Holding Yard 3D Model – View in 3D in Sketchfab

Open Ditch 3D Model

PGUD - Open Ditch 3D Model
Open Ditch 3D Model – View in 3D on Sketchfab

Coal Field (Volumetrics)

Coal Field (Volumetrics)
Coal Field (Volumetrics) – View in 3D on Sketchfab

This according to GEO Jobe sUAS Business Development Manager, Jeff Lawrence, “Using the drone to capture stockpile volumes is less hazardous, takes less time, and is less disruptive than traditional approaches. It is also less expensive than LiDAR Scanning while producing similar levels of accuracy.” 

You can connect directly with Jeff  on Twitter for more on this topic @jalaw3 or see more on GEO Jobe UAV Services HERE

The construction & site development industry has been a large and growing sector for our UAV Services group. Many benefits are realized by these clients who are electing to employ UAV data capture technologies and methods. Most notably, UAV data capture is safe and secure, can be flown relatively quickly, and data products are accurate and detailed. There are a wide variety of uses and advantages for using a UAV for construction-related projects including for example, Monitoring #construction job sites keep projects on track, on budget and ensures safe practices. The following are some typical applications for UAS that GEO Jobe UAV can provide for clients in construction and site development sectors:

  • Earthwork volumetric surveys and 3D modeling
  • Topographic mapping
  • Infrastructure/deformation monitoring
  • Infrastructure inspection
  • Asset inventory surveys
  • Visualisation surveys
  • “Progress mapping” suitable for BIM
  • Environmental surveys
  • Thermal inspection surveys
  • Accurate volumetric calculations

In addition to the derivative data products, analysis and reports delivered the clients can also obtain updated ortho photography and digital basemaps for future mapping, digital contour map layers, DEM and 3D data products.

See more information about our UAV services or contact us HERE

Follow GEO Jobe UAV services on Facebook,  Twitter & Instagram @geojobeuav

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