Service providers

Drone service providers deliver datasets in a variety of specialized markets from agriculture and real estate to geospatial, energy utilities and oil & gas. Lightweight autonomous mapping drones are easy to use for independent operators just starting out or can be scaled for large enterprises, delivering precise datasets with the potential to cut costs, create better relationships and grow business.

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    How are drones used by service providers?

    • Surveying – Site progress tracking in construction, volume measurements in mining.
    • Aerial photography – Real estate sales and building, media field assignments.
    • Utility infrastructure inspection – Thermal imaging for construction, energy and security.
    • Residential – Roofing and estate appraisals, insurance claims and inspections.
    • Precision agriculture – Crop health monitoring, population counts, pest & disease identification.
    • Emergency response – Site reconstruction, documentation, search and rescue.

    What are the benefits of fixed-wing drones for service providers?

    Reduce flight times – From data acquisition to battery changes and transition times, fixed-wing drones require less flights and are shown to be almost 2X quicker than quadcopters due to their efficiency.

    Increased project capacity – Time savings means more mapping projects can be completed over a specific period. Flying a fixed-wing drone in place of a slower quadcopter was found to boost a team’s potential capacity by several projects per week to more than double when applied to larger projects.

    Increased mission and flight safety – Remote data capture removes surveyors from potentially dangerous areas around construction sites, roadways, buildings and infrastructure. And due to the lightweight, smart design of the eBee and eMotion flight planner, operators have a robust, safe drone for conducting mapping missions and a platform well-suited for advanced drone operations such as Operations Over People (OOP) and BVLOS flights – affording you a significant advantage over heavier platforms.

    Ease of use – All eBee drones feature a modular design that enables you to quickly swap sensor payloads, conduct repairs, and interval servicing with ease. This feature, along with wide accessibility to parts, significantly reduces downtime in comparison to many VTOL platforms.

    Maximized mobility – The lighter your equipment, the easier it is to transport to your site. Weighing just 4.6 kg / 10 lbs empty and 10 kg / 22 lbs when fully loaded with an eBee, laptop and accessories, the backpack and the drone is one of the lightest professional-grade platforms in the industry, allowing you to easily go – wherever your project takes you.

    What types of drone data outputs can you expect?

    The data output depends on your sensor and processing software, as dictated by your data requirements, which in turn determines the drone you will need to carry the payload with sufficient flight time. Typical drone data outputs you can expect from eBee drones, MicaSense sensors and Measure Ground Control include:

    Orthomosaic raster – A large image comprised of adjoining orthorectified images that have been digitally reconstructed. Orthomosaic maps are helpful to service providers for monitoring site activity and measuring distances between points.

    3D point cloud – Point cloud maps comprise millions of individual points featuring X, Y and Z geospatial coordinates and an RGB value. Surveyors in construction use them to calculate complex stockpile volumes and automate cut/fill analysis.

    Digital Surface Model (DSM) – 3D display of an area that includes the tops of buildings, trees and other ground-based objects. Detailed models captured by drone are valuable for tracking earthworks, water flow, or flooding across terrain and measuring excavation depths.

    Digital Terrain Model (DTM) – 3D display of vector data that features natural terrain and regularly spaced points. DTMs can be used in planning new construction developments or monitoring changes to the landscape for land management.

    3D textured mesh – Realistic reproduction of an area using photogrammetry mapped to edges, faces, vertices and texture. 3D models are helpful in planning and inspections or in large construction projects when data needs to be widely shared with numerous corporate and public stakeholders.

    Contour lines – Topographic map that delineates surface elevation using contour lines. The construction industry benefits from these contour line outputs for grade and slope monitoring.

    Cadastre maps – 2D property maps. Updated cadastral maps of entire townships and cities help determine where easements are located, utilities and other features adjacent to a work site.

    What software do you need?

    • eMotion software is a leading drone software solution for flight planning, geotagging and photo stitching. From here the imagery can be exported for further processing in Pix4D and other software.
    • PIX4Dsurvey and PIX4Dcloud are popular photogrammetry solutions for generating orthomosaic maps and 3D DSMs for sharing.
    • Measure Ground Control can be used to manage a drone fleet, as well as to process multispectral imagery from MicaSense sensors. Service providers can use Measure to access data from anywhere in real-time, track and monitor several projects at once and streamline communications and reporting to clients.

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