Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 2018

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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14   August/September 2018 unmanned systems inside USER SHOWCASE Photos courtesy of Microdrones. B efore Ashley Thomas Pittman and the team at Brent Scarbrough & Co. Inc., a Georgia-based heavy steel construction company, clears a site for a project, they need to know its contours and how much dirt must be brought in or taken out to achieve the proper elevations. The engineer-supplied topographic maps are designed to provide that guidance but often aren't very accurate—lead- ing to extra work that costs time, money and frustration. That's why Pittman, who's with the company's GPS/ Layout Department, decided to start looking into us- ing an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to create these maps, a nd ultimately in- vested in the mdMapper1000DG from Microdrones about a year ago. Deploying the system is more effi- cient and safer than traditional sur- veying methods, and provides the information he needs to efficiently complete his job. "We were having a big disparity between the existing topo that came with the set of plans and what we were find- ing on the site. We really found some shocking differences," Pittman said. "We'd be two-thirds or three-fourths done with a site and realize we didn't have enough dirt or that we had too much dirt. That should be worked out ahead of time. We can raise the site according to anticipated overag- es or shortages at no additional cost if we know in advance. When we're surprised toward the end, we have to remove all the dirt to fit a different type of topo." The Benefits of UAS Brent Scarbrough typically works on large sites that are between 50 and 60 acres, said Matt Rosenbalm, the Microdrones Southern U.S. sales manager. The sites are filled with heavy equipment and often have treacherous terrain. Before the construction company be- gan deploying the mdMapper1000DG, two or three workers would survey the sites with a GPS rover, a time-con- suming, often dangerous, task. Now, they can get the data needed to build 3-D modules and perform volume cal- culations in minutes. "A drone f light takes a fraction of the time of almost anything we were doing by hand with conventional GPS instruments," Pittman said. "I can topo a 10 acre site that might have taken a day to complete in 12 minutes. Twelve minutes versus 10 hours is kind of a no-brainer." The mdMapper1000DG from Microdrones gives Brent Scarbrough & Co. Inc. more accurate topographic maps of construction sites so they know exactly how much dirt to move, saving time and money. by Renee Knight FIELD TESTED, FIELD PROVEN. MAPPING CONSTRUCTION SITES FOR BETTER OUTCOMES We were having a big disparity between the existing topo that came with the set of plans and what we were finding on the site. We really found some shocking differences." Ashley Thomas Pittman, Brent Scarbrough & Co. Inc. "

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