Surveying has long been an essential task in a wide range of industries, but even as surveying technology has improved, it’s a task that’s been plagued by three big problems: it takes a long time, it costs a lot of money, and it can be dangerous.
These issues are especially pronounced in some of the industries that rely on it most heavily. For too long, industries like oil and gas, alternative energy, mining and telecommunications have had their growth slowed and operations hamstrung by the difficulties associated with surveying. Thankfully an innovation has arrived that significantly cuts the costs and time eaten by surveying and eliminates the danger to human surveyors. It’s automated industrial drone surveying, and the following four industries need to seriously consider adopting it.
Stockpile surveying is an integral part of mining operations as it’s virtually the only way to accurately keep track of ore. However, sending land surveyors out to perform these evaluations is almost untenably dangerous due to the shifting of ore and the presence of large vehicles and machinery. In best case scenarios for land surveyors, all stockpile related operations are stopped while stockpile surveying is being completed. This safety-first approach is a disadvantage to companies, however, as stockpile surveying can take days – a very long time to have processes slowed or halted.
Automated industrial drone surveying takes humans out of the equation altogether, with the drone flying its entire mission, collecting data from millions of points per stockpile, and processing that data without any human intervention required. No risk to surveyors, and no need for work stoppages.
#2. Wind energy
Alternative energies like wind and solar are becoming increasingly necessary as the fight against climate change ramps up, and companies within these industries are struggling to keep up with the growth demands. One of the major hampering factors in the wind energy is that wind turbines often need to be built in remote areas or on dangerous terrain like clifftops. This makes surveying in the wind energy industry onerous and risky when using traditional surveying techniques.
Using an automated industrial drone with a rugged build designed to withstand extreme locations and conditions eliminates the need for time-consuming and dangerous land surveying as well as expensive aircraft surveying. Modern industries need modern solutions, and drone surveying is one of them.
#3. Oil and gas
Oil and gas is an industry that needs to find efficiencies wherever it can, and surveying in the industry has long eaten up too much time, money and other resources. Automated industrial drones can be used in areas ranging from potential off-shore sites to rural farmland, enabling the best possible data-driven decisions and allowing for superior exploration and route planning without significant sunken costs. Automated drones also enable oil and gas companies to perform environmental surveys with a regularity that can protect companies against negative environmental impacts and the bad publicity that accompany them.
For an industry like transportation that needs to survey massive stretches of varied and often rugged terrain, it has in the past been difficult to conduct large-scale surveying without the use of small aircraft – and the tremendous expense that accompanies it. With an automated drone, industries like transportation that need to undertake large-scale surveying can still have all the benefits of aerial surveying without the costs of renting or owning and maintaining a plane or helicopter, as well as the expense of a pilot and surveyor and the flight risks to which those passengers would be exposed. Automated drones also eliminate the scheduling logistics associated with traditional aerial surveying. Leading automated drones can handle their own maintenance, including the changing of batteries and sensors, and are ready to fly at a moment’s notice.
The future of surveying
Drones and automation are two of the biggest trends in industry right now, so it only makes sense that the combination of the two technologies is poised to have a major impact on industrial operations all over the world. The benefits automated drones offer to surveying operations for industries like mining, wind energy, oil and gas and transportation are too significant to be overlooked, with safety, time saving and cost saving chief among them. Automated drones are the future of industrial surveying, and that future can’t come soon enough.
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