Drone Mapping Decreases Utility Area Occasions by 50 %

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Drone Mapping Decreases Utility Area Occasions by 50 %

Drone Mapping Decreases Utility Area Occasions by 50 %
Drone Mapping Decreases Utility Area Occasions by 50 %

Call before you dig. From individual householders to major construction corporations, Associate in Nursingyone World Health Organization has ever undertaken an excavation project is aware of this routine. For his or her half, major field examination company USIC performs over seventy million such underground utility locates every year. This process  which involves each detection utilities and making a record of their GPS coordinates  is pretty easy, however once it’s scaled up to incorporate tens of thousands of locations, the time and associated prices begin to mount. find out how USIC reduced prices, drove productivity within the field and improved information quality by group action drone mapping into their existing enterprise workflows.

Chris Bartlett is that the Technology Director for Reconn TECH, a replacement branch of the corporate that, as he puts it, “invests and deploys technology solutions that solve issues and disrupt markets.” This includes operating with major purchasers on utility find comes, furthermore as inspections of elevated water and cell towers, electrical substations and star plants.


For his half, Chris spent the bulk of his career in company IT, infrastructure and networking. In 2013, he joined Premier Utility Services as their Technology Director. The corporate was non heritable by USIC in 2015, and once USIC shaped Reconn TECH in October of 2016, Chris moved into his current role at the corporate. Of his work with Reconn TECH, he says enjoys obtaining the prospect to initiate.


“It’s been pleasant developing solutions that are literally impactful and solve issues, not simply keeping the lights on.”
Chris shared a current instance of however Reconn TECH employed drone mapping to disrupt the utility detection method and build a giant impact on a customer’s bottom line.


Drones scale back Field Time, Technician prices for Utility Locates

Drones scale back Field Time, Technician prices for Utility Locates
Drones scale back Field Time, Technician prices for Utility Locates

One of Reconn TECH’s purchasers, an oversized telecommunications company, plans to expand their network of wireless local area network hotspots by attaching devices to existing poles across the country. as a result of this method involves burial wires, they need tasked USIC with locating the underground utilities around every pole — first at 424 sites in American state and later extending to a complete of twenty five,000 sites nationwide. Every website is associate in Nursing acre. While not the employment of drones, this method takes regarding 2 hours per website. whereas 2 hours doesn’t sound like abundant, as Chris points out, that point adds up once you are talking regarding tens of thousands of locations. Augment this the very fact that a technician World Health Organization is trained to map GPS coordinates charges upwards of $100 per hour, and it’s not tough to visualize why Reconn TECH and its purchasers would obtain another choice.
The standard method for detection and locating underground utilities goes like this: initial, one in all USIC’s field technicians uses a Radio detection location device to search out utilities, marking every kind of utility with a special color of paint. This takes roughly associate in Nursing hour at every website. Next, the sector technician uses a Trimble to gather GPS points for every marked utility at intervals of 30–50 feet. This takes another hour. From there, a GIS expert at Reconn TECH’s workplaces utilizes the GPS co-ordinates supplied by the sector technical schoolto make associate in Nursing annotated satellite map in Google Earth. This takes another thirty minutes more or less, transfer the full time spent at every website to regarding 2 hours.

By transfer drone mapping into the equation, Reconn TECH has effectively eliminated the second and third steps during this method. Now, a technician desires solely to find the underground utilities and mark the bottom with paint. When payment regarding thirty minutes doing this, the technician is currently ready to locomote to successive website whereas a drone pilot comes in and flies the realm in but fifteen minutes. This reduces field time from 2 hours to forty-five minutes or less.
“By treating drone we have enhanced our field productivity by 50–75%.”

–Chris Bartlett, Director of Technology at Reconn TECH


Again at Reconn TECH’s workplaces, the aerial intellectual imagery is uploaded into Drone Deploy, wherever Associate in Nursing orthomosaic map is generated. As a result of the map is orthorectified, there’s no ought to manually discover GPS points or use a Google Earth map for annotations. The map already includes a visible of the technician’s marks, furthermore as GPS coordinates for those utility find marks.


Without drones, a technician will whole between 5 and 7 sites in line with day relying on driving time among areas, drone mapping lets in one technical school to finish not less than 10, and normally up to 2-0, websites in a very single day.


“From Associate in nursing operations perspective, this can be tremendous,” says Chris.


In addition to the current vital reduction in man hours, Chris points out that a technician World Health Organization is trained to map GPS coordinates prices nearly eighty bucks a lot of per-hour than a technician World Health Organization is merely trained to discover and mark utilities. And, though presently a person involves the positioning to fly a drone, Reconn TECH plans to any contour {the method} by eventually armament all of their field vehicles with a drone and coaching technicians to map as a part of the detection process.

Drone Mapping Provides unjust information and Quality Assurance

drone mapping provides unjust
drone mapping provides unjust


Not solely has drone mapping greatly reduced field time for this large-scale project, however it’s conjointly allowed Reconn TECH to supply the shopper with a larger set of unjust information. for every website, Chris and his team use Drone Deploy’s inbuilt measuring tools to quickly gain further info, like curb heights, pavement widths and even the elevation of utility lines therefore the shopper will make sure that those lines area unit hanging high enough for instrumentality to have. All of those measurements area unit annotated in Drone Deploy and sent to the client along side a close table of annotations.
“By mistreatment drones on this project, we tend to aren’t solely saving the time that the sector technical school is payment on every job website, we tend to area unit providing the client true, up-to-date info regarding the positioning.” –Chris Bartlett

In the case of the positioning pictured within the orthomosaic map higher than, the annotations provided by Reconn TECH alerted the telecommunication shopper that the road was solely 41 feet wide, that means there wasn’t enough pavement clearance to usher in the directional drill they were originally designing on mistreatment for the project. because of drone mapping and Reconn TECH’s careful analysis, the shopper was ready to discover this early within the method, while not having to line foot at the positioning. With this new info, they’ll currently perform a constructability analysis and regulate their plans consequently.
“Considering the value of dealing a directional drill is between eight and 10 thousand bucks per week, to not mention the person hours, project delays and aggravation saved by merely causation a drone up to perform a 10–15 minute flight, it’s laborious to not see the worth.” — Chris Bartlett
Chris and his team have conjointly found drone maps to be a valuable tool for quality assurance. Once more during this case, once reviewing the map they found 2 hand holes (marked by red annotations on the orthomosaic map above) that had been uncomprehensible by the sector technical school. Rather than having to form a pricey trip back on website to require measurements for the incomprehensible manholes, they merely force up Drone Deploy’s measuring tool and captured the new info with the push of a button.
Drone Deploy Pairs with pivot for Associate in Nursing Optimum Workflow

Drone Deploy Pairs with pivot for Associate in Nursing Optimum Workflow
Drone Deploy Pairs with pivot for Associate in Nursing Optimum Workflow

All of Reconn TECH’s field technicians use Fulcrum, a mobile field examination application that permits them to combination all of the info they collect on website, as well as ground photos, videos and examination info. This info is hold on as a whole, transportable examination record. Chris and his team currently transfer their annotated drone maps into pivot furthermore; guaranteeing that a full set of knowledge is instantly accessible ought to a technical school ought to be sent back resolute the positioning for a re-inspection or accident investigation. This record is additionally accessible for               Reconn TECH purchasers, ought to they ever would like it for compliance functions.

Chris appreciates however straightforward it’s been to integrate Drone Deploy into the prevailing pivot advancement. “The DroneDeploy platform is intuitive,” says Chris. “One of the foremost vital aspects is creating the drone mental imagery accessible simply to our field inspectors and purchasers. We’d like a mechanism to deliver aerial mental imagery quickly. as a result of if it’s difficult, it’s not about to be used.” As Reconn TECH’s work with its major telecommunications client has shown, their method for gathering and delivering aerial mental imagery is in truth used and greatly appreciated  by management, technicians and purchasers alike.