How Surveyors can use Drones & AI to Automate Volumetric Reporting

October 17, 2023

Written by AUTHOR NAME

Surveyors can leverage the power of drones and artificial intelligence (AI) to automate volumetric reporting, making the process more efficient, and cost-effective. Here are some of the best ways to implement these technologies on site:

1. Drones for Data Acquisition:

The most appropriate drone and sensor for a site will depend on several factors including the size of the areas to be surveyed, the frequency of the surveys, the type of aerial data that needs to be captured, accuracy requirements and the skill level of the drone pilots.

Where frequent data capture and reporting is required, the best option may be to outsource the data capture and processing to a dedicated drone services company, such as RocketDNA, who focus on efficient capture, processing and delivery of aerial survey data.

These options can include an on-site drone pilot, or the very latest drone-in-a-box systems such as RocketDNA’s xBot solutions which are able to be scheduled to perform routine surveys, with monitoring of the flight by a pilot located in a remote operating centre (ROC). These outsourced solutions allow the site surveyors or other technical professionals to focus on their core tasks.

2. Flight Planning:

Plan drone flights based on the specific area you need to survey. Use software tools to create flight paths that ensure adequate coverage and overlap for accurate data collection.

3. Data Capture:

Deploy drones to capture imagery or LiDAR data of the survey area, while ensuring that all safety and legal regulations for drone operations are in place and followed. CASA-licensed operators, such as RocketDNA, are able to take care of the regulatory headaches for you and can navigate complex approvals for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) and even remote operating scenarios.

4. Data Processing & Volumetric Reporting:

Transfer the collected data to the cloud for processing. AI software platforms such as Strayos enable raw drone data to be uploaded to a cloud server where it is processed to generate 3D models and AI is applied to streamline the volumetric reporting process, including the automatic detection of stockpile boundaries.

5. Reporting:

Generate automated volumetric reports using AI-generated data. These reports should include accurate volume measurements and visual representations, such as 3D models or heatmaps, to aid in understanding the data. Software such as Strayos provides automatically generated PDF reports, dashboard views and interactive models on its web-based platform.

With RocketDNA, you can achieve survey-grade accuracy using our photogrammetry and LiDAR-based solutions. We process data to generate spatially accurate 3D maps and digital terrain models that enable volumetric reporting to be completed with confidence.

6. Regular  Monitoring:

Implement a regular monitoring schedule to capture updated data and track changes over time. Automated drones can be programmed to fly on a recurring basis, typical daily. RocketDNA’s services also include end-of-month or as-required stockpile volumetric surveys.

RocketDNA’s SurveyBot solution can provide scheduled or on-demand survey capture to allow for remote monitoring and progress measuring in difficult to reach or dangerous places.

By combining drones and AI, surveyors can significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of volumetric reporting, reduce manual labour and on-site risks, as well as receive timely and reliable data for various applications, including construction, mining, agriculture, and environmental monitoring.