There’s a good chance you’ve been able to see them hovering above the construction site, taking images and capturing information. Perhaps your business has utilized them to perform surveys or to track the progress of a job. These are drones, or, more accurately, UAVs, or unmanned aircrafts (UAVs) and construction companies are beginning to realize the many advantages this technology offers.
UAVs are equipped by high-performance HD cameras that are able to capture video and stills to give aerial images that can be used to create maps as well as 3-D model models for construction locations. LiDAR laser scanning and various other sensors are being utilized to map and create models of sites. UAVs operate autonomously with preset flight paths. They can be operated manually by an remote, while they can also be controlled with a tablet or smartphone.
Firms in the construction industry who are using helicopters and aircrafts to offer aerial images will see significant cost savings through either buying the and running their own UAVs or outsourcing the work to a firm equipped to provide imagery using UAVs.
UAVs will play an important role within the field of construction. Surveying and mapping of construction areas, inspections of buildings and ensuring safety on the jobsite are just a few areas that can benefit from the application of UAVs. Videos captured by UAVs can be utilized for creating 3D images of the construction development. The information is then evaluated against design plans and the construction schedule to monitor the progress of projects. Not only does this assist in keeping projects on track and on track, but it can also be able to identify whether construction activities are diverging from the plan. In excavation or site work construction projects UAVs are able to calculate volumetric measurements in order to measure the amount of dirt transferred every day.
Two areas where UAVs can help improve are worker safety and productivity, are likely to receive the most criticism by workers who are concerned about privacy. Construction sites are already monitored by safety supervisors as well as site superintendents and construction supervisors, so this shouldn’t pose a huge problem. UAVs can cover the entire site in less than the time that it takes the time of a person walking and stopping to check on work , and observing possible safety risks. In the ideal scenario, technology could be employed to protect workers and find ways to help workers become more productive. UAVs can be equipped with tablets to allow video-conferencing, which can lead to more effective communication on the job site.
UAVs may also be employed when everyone is gone during the working day. Surveillance UAVs could be utilized to watch the area for potential thieves and trespassers. They can be set up to automatically move along a pre-programmed path to hover over an area of construction, making it unnecessary to have a number of security cameras. Alerts could be sent immediately the owners and GCs, and local authorities in the event that the site is accessed by an unauthorised person.
The research on applications related to construction is underway to discover additional ways UAVs are able to most effectively serve the construction industry. Many construction companies, UAV manufacturers and universities are conducting studies and conducting tests of performance to determine how UAVs can be used for tasks like roof inspections, bridge inspections, or even perform physical work like welding.
Companies such as Krespy as well as Precision Drone are making UAV systems that can be used commercially in industries such as mining, agriculture and construction. Phoenix Aerial Systems makes both UAVs and LiDAR mapping systems that can be utilized in conjunction or used separately. Manufacturers of navigation and surveying equipment such as Topcon and Trimble offer UAVs for construction industries.
Skycatch is a company based that is based out of San Francisco, has worked with construction companies such as DPR as well as Bechtel to create UAVs specifically for use in construction. Skycatch’s UAVs are currently being utilized alongside Komatsu’s Intelligent Machine Control equipped dozers and excavators in Komatsu’s SmartConstruction service, which offers self-contained solutions to site work for clients. AEC software solutions firm Autodesk has invested in Skycatch. Autodesk has partnered with Skycatch to incorporate their software with the purpose of making use of the data collected through Skycatch’s UAVs.
If you’d prefer outsourcing your UAV aerial photography there are companies who can handle the task for you. Along with having a professional operator on an UAV as well as cameras and other imaging equipment You also have the advantage of having them fully insured. Companies such as Image In Flight, which offered imaging solutions to help with the construction of the brand new Sacramento Kings arena, and DroneBase are authorized to use UAVs commercially. If you’re looking to test your attempt at controlling your personal UAV and DJI’s Phantom 3 Professional is a good entry-level device which won’t cost a fortune. It costs around $1300 to buy the entire kit that you require to begin including an ultra-high definition camera.
Before you rush to buy the UAV to use in your construction business, be aware that operating UAVs to conduct commercial activities is not yet legal. If you want to utilize one in the next project you are working on,, you will need to submit a request the exemption required in accordance with Section 333 of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. A recent lookup on the FAA website reveals that over 3300 exemptions were granted to commercial use. Over 450 of these exemptions are granted to companies who use construction sites.
In February in February, the FAA released the proposed rules for commercial usage of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) (which is the term they use for drones as well as UAVs. According to the proposed rules, the aircraft has to weigh less than 55 pounds. and a visual line-of sight (VLOS) is required to be maintained with no assistance of any equipment, such as binoculars, cameras or onboard cameras. The maximum airspeed that can be allowed could be 100 mph, while the maximum altitude that can be used to operate the UAV is 500 feet above the ground. The weather conditions must permit 3 miles of clear visibility to fly an UAV.
Operators will be required take an aeronautical understanding test, and then receive an operator’s certificate. UAVs will need to be registered and required to wear identification marks identical to any other aircraft.
Registration is required for any newly purchased UAVs that weigh more than 0.55 lbs. regardless of whether it’s intended for commercial or recreational use beginning on the 21st of December. Users who operated UAVs prior to the date are required to register by February 19, 2016 to be registered. Failure to sign up your UAV could result in civil penalties of up to $27,500, and criminal penalties that can reach $250,000, or 3 years in prison.
The final rules for commercial drones are scheduled to be released early in the year, perhaps by June. The adoption rate won’t be astronomical, but after the new rules are in place, you are likely to observe UAVs being seen on more construction locations. Some construction companies might begin to put up job ads for skilled UAV operators.