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RDO INTEGRATED CONTROLS BLOG - March, 2017


6 Ways Drones Deliver on Construction Jobsites and Off

6 Ways Drones Deliver on Construction Jobsites and Off

Many in the construction industry are discovering UAV technology as game-changers in numerous aspects of their work, from survey and mapping applications to jobsite safety to marketing.

Thanks to recent changes to FAA Part 107 rules for flying drones, UAV technology is more accessible and realistic than ever. Add the fact that manufacturers are offering drones designed specifically for construction applications and it opens up the opportunities to professionals at every level, in both the public and private sector.

For example, senseFly’s eBee RTK drone is designed as a survey-grade mapping drone. The fixed-wing unit is compatible with most base stations and can provide accuracy down to 3 cm with no need for ground control points. Featuring a copter design, the senseFly albris drone has five dual-sensor modules. These provide the situational awareness required to operate the drone in close proximity to structures, making it ideal for building and bridge inspections. It also offers a major advantage in its ability to switch between capturing video, still, and thermal imagery, all during the same flight.  

From onsite, day-to-day tasks to behind-the-scenes business opportunities, here are the primary ways drones are delivering for construction professionals.  

In the Dirt
Construction sites, whether roadbuilding, bridge inspection, or general builds, all can benefit from the use of UAV technology. When used properly, three key deliverables are achieved on the jobsite.

1. Accuracy
Drones capture data at very high density, often millimeters per pixel. By comparison, traditional staking survey methods using Lidar and GIS typically collect data points anywhere from 10 to 20 feet; sometimes greater gaps exist due to vegetation or other factors that make an area inaccessible to pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

Because drones capture this 3D data in a spatial or geo info set, they produce highly accurate 3D recreations of just about anything on the ground, from a pile of dirt to a full building under construction.

So what does this mean on the jobsite? Imagine a site prep project with hundreds of cubic yards of dirt that needs to be moved. The exact location, height and width of each dirt pile is exact, so a worker can see exactly how much dirt needs to be moved, and precisely estimate trucks, manpower, and time.

2. Productivity
Hand-in-hand with the accuracy they provide is the productivity offered by UAS technology. Wasted effort and resources are minimized.

Consider traditional surveying. With drones, data can be gathered at a rate that makes conventional methods seem antiquated. As fast as the operator can walk, pause, press a key to record, then move along, data can be collected.

Drones also deliver data fast, enabling management to make changes and adjustments as soon as possible.

3. Safety
Perhaps the most important benefit drones bring to the jobsite is greatly increased safety.

Bridge inspection is a primary example of just how impactful a drone can be. Conventional bridge inspection methods suspend a worker under or alongside a bridge – dangerous in any situation, but especially depending on the size, location and usage of the bridge while the inspection takes place.

Even a simple surveying project can put workers in danger. An icy winter jobsite is full of slip-and-fall hazards for workers walking the area, where a drone can be used by an operator, safely and comfortably offsite.


In the Business
It’s hard to argue with the accuracy, productivity and safety benefits that drones bring to the jobsite. And there’s another side of a construction business that benefits – the activities that often go unseen to most but have a big time impact on the bottom line.

1. Asset Tracking
The high-quality photography offered by drones and the ability for them to oversee large areas in a short amount of time is making it easier to track assets on the jobsite – both equipment and workers.

In addition to sheer tracking, this can also help determine if current assets are adequate or if additional resources are needed on a jobsite.

2. Stakeholder Communication
It’s not always possible for major investors and other stakeholders to regularly visit a jobsite and see progress updates. Thanks to their ability to take quality photos and video, drones provide a valuable tool for frequent stakeholder communication.

The drone can be set to run the same flight plan once every week to capture precise developments and changes on a jobsite, keeping updates consistent from week to week. Furthermore, images can be time-stamped for precise accuracy. Whether the full site or specific sections, and from site prep to final completion, drone images and video offer the opportunity to communicate progress, visually. 

3. Future Marketing
There’s no better way for a business to market itself than showing its capabilities. The dynamic images offered by drones can show a fully-finished project, and from angles that are more impressive and that offer a more thorough look than on-the-ground photographs.

An automated flight plan can be set to take a ton of photos, from the start of the job all the way through completion.


When the most accurate, highest-level information is desired, drones are a viable option for every construction project.

Interested in how to integrate a drone on your jobsite to deliver benefits including better accuracy, greater productivity, and enhanced safety? RDO Integrated Controls can help, and is offering special rates and a one-year warranty on its loaner/demo fleet of albris drones. Contact the team at RDO Integrated Controls to find out more.

See complete UAV products, and learn more about service and support offered from RDO Integrated Controls.

 

March 29, 2017  |  Category:

What You Want to Know About FAA Part 107 and Drones

What You Want to Know About FAA Part 107 and Drones

On June 21, 2016, the FAA announced that Part 107 Rules for UAS (Drone) Operations in the National Airspace had been finalized.

The new rules went into effect on August 29, 2016, opening a door for many potential pilots interested in commercial activities using UAVs. With the new rules, there are many opportunities for the use of UAVs in agriculture, civil engineering, aggregate, and mining industries. It will now be easier for companies to become compliant to fly commercial UAVs.

Here are highlights and updates from the Part 107 ruling since it was originally announced:

Getting the Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification for non-FAA Pilots

  • To become certified you simply need to take and pass a 60-question Knowledge Test at an FAA testing center with a minimum score of 70%. There is no flight test required to obtain your Remote Pilot Certificate.
  • The FAA has several online resources, including a study guide, the actual ruling known as 14 CFR Part 107, and many other information manuals.
  • RDO Integrated Controls offers a regulatory training package to help you prepare for your Part 107 exam and comply with federal regulations when operating your UAV.
  • After the exam, all information is submitted through the FAAs Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA), where they conduct a background investigation, evaluate your test score, and either approve or deny the application.

Getting Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification for current FAA Pilots

  • Part 61 Pilots are not required to take the Knowledge Test at a testing center, but must complete an online training course, called "Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) ALC-451"
  • Current pilots then need to complete and submit Form 8710-13 (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for a remote pilot certificate).

Current 333 Exemption Holders

  • Your FAA Pilot must complete the online Remote Pilot Certification training online before the implementation of Part 107.
  • Your 333 Exemption is still valid per the time period stated on it.

Pending 333 Exemptions

  • You will be notified by the FAA that you are in one of three tiers and be given options to continue or transfer to Part 107

FAA Approval

  • You will be required to be approved and vetted by the FAA through its IACRA system before being issued your Remote Pilot Certificate. This process can take several months to complete because of the amount of time required to complete a background investigation, evaluate your application and test scores, and officially approve your request.

What are the final rules?

  • A summary and a complete overview of the final rules, known as 14 CFR Part 107, are available on the FAA website.

Bring UAV Technology to the Jobsite
The team at RDO Integrated Controls is offering special rates and a one-year warranty on select drones from its loaner/demo fleet. Contact the team at RDO Integrated Controls to find out more about complete UAV products available or to learn more about our exclusive FAA Compliance package, including best practices, tips, and training on topics related to FAA compliance.

This blog was originally posted on June 21, 2016 and updated March 15, 2017.

 

March 15, 2017  |  Category:

An Ever-Changing UAV Industry and its Customers

An Ever-Changing UAV Industry and its Customers

Not long ago, UAVs were a new technology – admired by many and successfully used by few. Fast forward to today, drones have found their way onto numerous jobsites, and are successfully being used for numerous applications. However, the story doesn’t end here. In fact, the story of UAV technology on the jobsite likely won’t ever end; instead, it will continue to grow, change, and evolve.

Because of this, RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Integrated Controls have continued to make significant moves in the UAV space. Our teams strive to make the technology and products accessible to more customers, and have expanded offerings to provide more choices.

The agriculture industry has been a major focus, with the additions of the senseFly eBee SQ and Sentera DJI Phantom drones. Another major area of focus is the construction industry, particularly, using UAV technology for surveying and mapping.

Last year, RDO Integrated Controls expanded its UAV offerings with the addition of the new senseFly albris drone. One of the albris’ biggest advantages is its ability to switch between capturing video, still, and thermal imagery, all during the same flight.

The team at RDO Integrated Controls is also offering the senseFly eBee RTK drone. Designed to be a survey-grade mapping drone, the eBee RTK is compatible with most base stations and can provide accuracy down to 3 cm with no need for ground control points.

Meeting the changing needs of customers and an ever-evolving product line doesn’t come without foresight. And looking ahead, our team sees surveying and mapping as major areas of potential for integration of drones on construction jobsites.

For those interested in putting UAV technology to work on the jobsite, RDO Integrated Controls is offering special rates and a one-year warranty on its loaner/demo fleet of albris drones. Contact the team at RDO Integrated Controls to find out more.

See complete UAV products, and learn more about service and support offered from RDO Integrated Controls.

This blog was originally posted on January 5, 2017 and updated March 1, 2017.

 

March 2, 2017  |  Category: UAV