Drone Surveys

At South West Surveys, we run our own in-house drone operations. Our pilots are all CAA approved, fully insured and highly experienced in operating drones.

Drones are a fantastic tool to our surveying arsenal as they allow us to effectively collect data from otherwise out of reach places and accessible areas, or high-risk areas such as railways, motorways, dilapidated structures or small islands. Our team can complete surveys that originally would have been completely impossible in the past.

Features of our Drones

By using our 20mp lens or our 100mp cameras, we can provide a set of jpg images, which can also be supplied as a rich 3d pointcloud. This can be for sites in their entirety, or to complete pointcloud datasets where the terrestrial laser scan can’t reach.

Our lidar system is a great tool for surveying large tree covered areas as it has the ability to penetrate tree canopies and map the ground beneath. In one pass, our exceptional drone surveys could save days of traditional surveying and is a cost-effective and money saving method.

What Do Thermal Imaging Cameras Do?

By using our thermal imaging cameras, we can report on:

  • The performance of your solar panels (IEC TS 62446-3: Photovoltaic (PV) systems-requirements for testing, documenting and maintenance) to ensure the panels are operating as they should, without fault.
  • Reporting heat loss incurred by roofs on residential or commercial properties.

Using drones to survey power lines is a safer, quicker and more cost-effective method than alternatives which can often involve hefty hidden costs as well as health and safety violations.

What Information Can Drone Surveys Provide You With?

When covering large areas of farmland at a time, drones can provide you with a wealth of detailed data including plant health and vigour, weed location and density, precise area measurements and elevation changes across your farmland.  Our drone surveying software allows us to supply clients with comparative reporting and analysis of the area, offering suggestions about how to interpret this data efficiently.

Drone Surveying Services We Offer

The drone surveying services we offer here at South West Surveys are impressive! Our team of experts utilise the latest drone technology to provide clients with first-class results and a comprehensive inspection of their site:

  • Condition surveys
  • Photography
  • Marketing
  • Construction progress monitoring
  • Asset management
  • 2d orthomosaic maps
  • 3d pointcloud
  • Monitoring for marine, coastal or flooding
  • Inspection (roof, wind turbine, pylon, bridges, power lines, etc)
  • Thermology (solar panels, roof heat loss, heavy industry)
  • Volume & area calculations
  • Field inspection and crop monitoring
  • GPS position
  • DTM (digital terrain models)

Aerial LiDAR & Mobile Mapping Surveys

South West Surveys offer mobile mapping services and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) for customers in the south west region of the UK.

Using fixed wing and multi-rotor technology with a multitude of sensors, one of our professionally trained and experienced UAV pilots will carry out an aerial LiDAR survey for the mapping of land, property and infrastructure. Aerial LiDAR surveys enable us to product Digital Terrain Models which is often unachievable with photogrammetry methods.

LiDAR gives the operator the ability to rapidly survey both small-scale and larger areas in a more cost-effective way. A UAV lidar system can often be much safer to use when surveying areas such as highways, railway lines and powerlines. A mobile mapping system eliminates any risks during the survey and can allow data to be captured remotely. A UAV LiDAR system allows the surveyor to stay on solid ground and survey an area safely, collecting enough data to build an accurate 3D representation of an infrastructure or section of land.

Aerial LiDAR surveys are ideal for:

  • Land surveys
  • Quarries
  • Highways
  • Urban planning
  • Civil structures
  • Onshore & offshore windfarms
  • Building inspections
  • Open cast mines

UAV LiDAR is incredibly popular within the agricultural and forestry sector, as the advanced technology enables the ability to scan through dense vegetation. Therefore it’s a cost-effective way of monitoring carbon stocks and crops for businesses. LiDAR is the only technology which allows Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) to be created, even when there are trees or vegetation in the way.

A LiDAR-equipped drone has the ability to capture ultra-high-resolution imagery at a low altitude, which is great for vegetation mapping in urban areas. When combined with LiDAR data, we are able to produce clear and precise maps in great detail, including building elevations, infrastructure assets and the shape and texture of vegetation. This is ideal for planners and maintenance crews to priorities conservation efforts on highways, streets and railway lines.

How South West Surveys Can Help

At South West Surveys, our drone surveyors are experienced, professional and are able to answer any questions you may have regarding our drone surveying service. To discuss your requirements in further detail, head over to our contact page.

Why should I consider a drone survey?

Drone surveys are gaining popularity due to their effectiveness at delivering surveys faster, safer and more efficiently. They allow you to gain a full view and understanding of your site and the surrounding area as well as difficult to reach locations to give you the most information possible to make informed decisions about your site.

You can even use drone surveys for marketing purposes to promote your site and project or your business. Whether it’s images to document a project’s progress, identify potential issues or promote your services, it can be a really beneficial investment for your business.

As you can appreciate, the ability to complete a drone survey will depend on weather conditions. It is not advised to fly a drone in wind stronger than 20mph as it can be difficult to control. It can also be damaged in rain or snow. The best conditions are sunny at a mild temperature with little to no wind. If we are unable to go ahead with the planned flight, we will rearrange for another day as soon as possible. To provide the best and most effective images, it is best to wait for the best weather conditions and we want to provide the best quality work to you.

Drone flying is subject to the rules set out by the Civil Aviation Authority, which states that a drone should not be flown higher than 400ft above ground level and no further than 500m from the pilot to ensure it is within their line of vision. While there is a restriction of 50m in closeness to a building, with permission of the owner we are allowed to go closer. We are able to do drone surveys in built up or congested areas such as cities, but we may need to obtain special permission and this may be subjected to an increased fee due to licences.