Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2017

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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13 unmanned systems inside October/November 2017 a model of the area and compute volumes. We can do ev- erything with this data." Strabag invested in the md4 -3000 drone for its LiDAR capabilities—which are put to use for these sur- veys. LiDAR makes the once tedious, dangerous highway measurement process even faster, Dr. Gröninger said, because instead of having to compute the 3-D point cloud in the software after the drone lands, the point cloud is available to the team as soon as the UAS finishes gathering the information. Normally, collecting the measurements necessary to create a 3-D model of a highway would take about a week to complete; with the Microdrones system, the team can gather the information in just one day, Dr. Gröninger said. With the old method, workers would have to walk along the highway as they measured, which can be a danger- ous task, especially when traffic is heavy. Flying a drone instead doesn't disrupt traffic and is safer for both the workers and the travelers. "Microdrones UAS have a very long f light time and also are fail safe systems," Dr. Gröninger said. "The qual- ity of their UAS is very high. Because we f ly the drone over highways in an area where there are many cars, it's important to have a high security, high-quality drone so it doesn't crash into traffic." Construction planning and inspection Strabag also deploys the Microdrones systems to ob- tain high-resolution, 3-D images of construction sites, Dr. Gröninger said. These images can be used to help with both planning and monitoring different projects. Everyone involved with the project can easily access and refer to the images, and they can f ly the site as often as they'd like. A drone typically f lies over the sites once a week, Dr. Gröninger said, so construction leaders can ad- just plans and schedules as necessary. "The most important way we use the drones is creat- ing 3-D models. Usually, we only have plans on paper and don't have 3-D data of the construction site," Dr. Gröninger said. "It's all very useful for the construction leaders for both planning the site and observing the prog- ress of the construction. We can see where to reduce costs and where to speed up processes in construction. We also get the data more quickly than if we used traditional methods." Strabag also deploys the drones to complete infrastruc- ture inspections, another application that saves them time and money. "For inspections, you usually need a person to climb, for example, on a big wall or on a tower with a camera to collect pictures for evidence," Dr. Gröninger said. "Microdrones has a high resolution camera with optical zoom, so we can fly around the building to take the pictures. No one has to climb the building and we get the pictures very fast." Moving forward As a whole, the company deploys a Microdrones system about once every two days, Dr. Gröninger said. They've inspected bridges in Columbia, Africa and Austria, and have f lown construction sites all over Europe and the world. They plan to continue to f ly UAS to streamline op- erations and reduce costs, and have found a trusted part- ner in Microdrones, the company that provided them with high-quality, reliable systems to enhance their processes and cut costs. "Strabag sees big potential in the use of UAS tech- nology," Dr. Gröninger said. "We have an international project with UAS, and we're focusing on improving our workf lows with this technology. It saves time and reduces costs, and that is very important to us." And part of that is because they're deploying a system that comes equipped with everything they need to be suc- cessful, developed by a team that's constantly learning, evolving and identifying their customers' needs—and then creating solutions to meet those needs, said Mike Dziok, Marketing Director for Microdrones. As company presi- dent Vivien Heriard Dubreuil likes to say, Microdrones doesn't just sell drones, they sell the whole package. "It's the software, it's the sensors, it's the drone per- fectly integrated with all the human aspects that tie into that," Dziok said. "Where do I see us in five years? The leader within the geospatial, construction, engineering segments, providing fully integrated surveying solutions. There's a lot of good technology out there, but I think it's our people and the world-class teams that we're building that are going to put Microdrones on top."

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