What Is Aerial Surveying?

Aerial Surveying

Aerial Surveying is a technique by which data is captured from the air in order to provide the surveyor with the data that they require for them to produce a survey for their client.

The data can be collected in a range of different ways including aerial photography, LiDAR, remote sensing using a range of visible and invisible wavelengths or even geophysical data such as aeromagnetic surveys.

Depending on the report that the client requires different techniques can be used on their own or in combination to provide the data required.

Aerial surveying in the past was a very costly exercise with either an airplane or often a helicopter required along with extremely powerful digital cameras because of the CAA requirement that aircraft fly at no less than 500 feet.  The introduction of UAV’s, commonly referred to as drones, has completely changed the industry.  Add to this the increased computing power now available and aerial survey can be an extremely cost-effective way to gather data.

There are, perhaps, hundreds of situations where aerial surveying could add value but below we look at just a few examples.

Aerial photography is probably the most basic form of a survey that we are able to provide.  Whether it is a cost-effective way to survey a large roof or building façade without specialist access equipment or just to provide a photograph for a set of marketing particulars photographs and videos can be extremely effective.  The equipment that we use is able to maintain position within 30cm of a structure and has a 20MP camera, contrast this with a roof survey where a surveyor on a ladder might be tens of meters away and it is easy to see how improved imagery can be a benefit.

Aerial photography can further be used to provide far more information that you might imagine.  By taking a series of photographs and then processing the information through some pretty sophisticated software using a process known as photogrammetry we are able to turn these simple georeferenced photographs into a 3d point cloud, digital surface and terrain model or an orthomosaic.  This information can then be imported into a CAD package and easily turned into a Topographical Survey.

The othomosaic is the most visually impressive of all of the options, it’s like having your very own extremely high resolution google earth that is perfect to scale and at such a high resolution that you could measure the length of something to an accuracy of only millimeters.

If you think that aerial survey might help with your business then please get in touch to discuss your requirements.