What are Drones and How Do They Work?
The Advantages of Drone Solutions for Infrastructure Development
Traditionally, construction projects were monitored manually using manned helicopters, cranes, or ground-based surveys. However, with the advent of drones, the construction process has become more efficient, speedy, and accurate. Drones can scan sites and provide a detailed aerial view, allowing for the detection of potential problems that might have gone unnoticed in the past. Drones also simplify the process of conducting surveys, as they can reach challenging locations quickly and relatively easily, such as areas that are hazardous or hard to access. With the data from these surveys, project managers can improve their timeline, develop better strategies, and take actions to minimize any delays or problems encountered during the construction process.
Drone solutions are cost-effective when it comes to infrastructure development. They have reduced the need for expensive personnel, equipment, and materials required for ground-based surveys and manned monitoring systems. By using drones, it’s possible to save time and money on inspections as they are fast and efficient and cover large areas in a few hours. Additionally, drones also reduce the impact on the environment, which is important for infrastructure development projects that strive to minimize ecological damages.
Better Quality Data and Improved Safety
Drones accurately capture data that helps ensure the best quality of any infrastructure development project. Some drones come equipped with high-resolution 4K cameras that capture detailed data and images. This data is compiled and used to make critical decisions that guarantee the best possible outcome of construction projects. Drones have also revolutionized site inspection and safety procedures by being able to gain access to areas that would otherwise require a crane or harness system, which is both time-consuming and dangerous. In addition, drones allow site managers to keep an eye on safety hazards in real-time, such as crumbling structures, and areas that are at risk of collapse.
The Challenges and Risks Involved With Drone Solutions in Infrastructure Development
Real-life Examples of Drone Solutions for Infrastructure Development
Bridge Construction Monitoring
In 2017, Texas A&M Transport Institute used drones to monitor the construction of a new cable-stayed bridge across the Brazos River. The institute used drones equipped with high-quality cameras and sensors to capture and monitor construction progress, with a follow-me mode that made it easy to follow the construction process. This enabled managers to analyze data from the drones and identify issues in real-time that they could address quickly, thus saving time and money to complete the project on schedule.
In China, drone technology is used to inspect highways and Civil Aviation Bureau, using DJI’s Mavic 2 Enterprise drone. The drone takes high-resolution high-quality images that help determine any road damages, bridge collapses, and potholes in real-time. This procedure has proven to be convenient and efficient and has helped China reduce its infrastructure inspection costs.
In Europe, drones have been used to inspect the roof structures of large commercial buildings. Skanska, a Swedish company, used drone technology to inspect the roof of an enormous shopping mall, ensuring the entire area was covered in high-resolution images. They also used drones to inspect the roof from above, which yielded data on the condition of the roof. This helped Skanska identify which areas required maintenance, adjust the maintenance schedule, and fix any damage promptly.