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3DR Announces Support for DJI M200, Point Cloud Measurements, and Volumetrics Tracking

Site Scan, our drone data platform built for construction and engineering professionals, has evolved significantly since launching over a year ago. Not only can you now use 3DR and DJI drones and our multi-engine processing with Pix4D, but it’s also become a complete enterprise solution for analyzing your drone data and sharing it across your organization.

We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to do two things: collect accurate drone data with whatever vehicle they’d like to use, and get insights from that data with our suite of in-browser analytics tools. Today, we’re introducing three new features that help our customers do just that. Read on to see what’s new—and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

Fly seamlessly with the DJI M200

One of the most advanced industrial drones on the market, the DJI M200, now works seamlessly with Site Scan! The M200 has long range, a 32 minute max flight time with payload, and much more. It’s already being put to work on construction and engineering projects across the world, helping collect highly accurate, reliable data. Now, you can fly it with Site Scan to map your jobsite, capture high-resolution inspection photos, and much more.

View, measure, and analyze point clouds

Measuring point clouds in Site Scan

Measuring point clouds in Site Scan

We recently launched our point cloud viewer in Site Scan, making it possible for you to view your projects in 3D with the click of a button. Today, we’re making the point cloud viewer even more powerful: now, you can make different kinds of measurements on your point cloud in real-time—including height, distance, area, and angles—all within the browser in Site Scan. Also, you can view your model at higher resolutions by adjusting the point budget and size to your liking. With these new point cloud tools, you can easily view and measure a whole new dimension of your jobsite.

Track volume calculations over time

Volume report

Jobsites can change quickly, and earthwork quantities are no exception. Now that you can get volume measurements and cut fill calculations directly within Site Scan, our new Volume Report feature gives you the ability to track how your earthwork and stockpile quantities change over time for any georeferenced Site Scan project. With the Volume Report, managing earthwork quantities is simpler and easier than ever before.

Have questions about these new features or would just like to learn more about Site Scan? We’d love to help: just reach out to 3DR Sales for a web demo and discovery call. Happy flying!

The post 3DR Announces Support for DJI M200, Point Cloud Measurements, and Volumetrics Tracking appeared first on 3DR Site Scan - Commercial Drone Platform.

Four New Features, Now in Site Scan

Today, we’re thrilled to launch significant improvements to the entire Site Scan user experience. We’ve added four key features to both Site Scan Field, our mobile app for flight planning, and Site Scan Manager, our web app, to make it easier for you to collect, process, and share the best data possible.

1. Map layers in Site Scan Field

Now, you can view your latest orthomosaics and overlay design files—such as KML, Shape, and GeoJSON—while planning flights in Site Scan Field.

This is perfect for planning flights in remote areas where the basemaps are out of date, because you can easily see the actual conditions of your site—like roads and fences—by viewing the orthomosaic and planning your flight accurately and safely.

Also, if you have property boundaries that you need to fly within, you can upload them into Site Scan and view them while planning your flight.

2. New Site Scan Field interface

We’ve re-designed the Site Scan Field interface to make it simpler and more intuitive. Now, your flight settings and map layers are on the left sidebar, and key settings are easier to access.


3. Low light mode

Flying in low light—early in the morning or before sunset—can result in photos that have shadows, which affects stitching and the quality of your deliverables.

That’s why we’re introducing Low Light Mode: just toggle it on while planning your flight, and Site Scan will automatically optimize the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture for you, so you can capture accurate aerial data whenever you need to.

4. Export contours as DXF

Now, you can export your Site Scan contours into the AutoCAD DXF filetype. This makes it easier for you to use contours in your workflow, especially in Autodesk tools like Civil 3D.

Want to learn more about Site Scan and how it could work for your business? Feel free to contact us to set up a discovery call.

The post Four New Features, Now in Site Scan appeared first on 3DR Site Scan - Commercial Drone Platform.

3DR Integrates Site Scan with Autodesk BIM 360

Today, we’re excited to share some big news: we’ve partnered with Autodesk to integrate Site Scan with BIM 360™, the leading project management tool for virtual construction managers and field teams.

With this one-of-a-kind partnership, made possible through the Autodesk Forge platform, it’s easier than ever for entire project teams—including project managers, engineers, subcontractors, superintendents, and more—to access drone data and use it in their day-to-day work.

According to Andy Leek, VDC Director at Paric: “Site Scan makes it easy for us to collect and process accurate drone data. Now, with this BIM 360 integration, we can easily share it across our entire project team can get the full benefit this data provides. Site Scan has become the complete drone data platform for BIM 360 users.”

This gives Site Scan users three new capabilities:

1. Overlay up-to-date design files: Pull your CAD and PDF design files from BIM 360 into Site Scan and overlay them onto your orthomosaics, so you can compare design to reality and spot mistakes. If a design file changes in BIM 360 it will automatically update in Site Scan, giving you the confidence that you’re viewing the most up-to-date overlays at all times.

2. Share drone data with your team: Push your Site Scan drone data—orthomosaics, point clouds, digital elevation models, and more—into your BIM 360 account so they’re easily accessible in tools like Revit, BIM 360 Glue and Field, and more.

3. Solve problems in the field: Spot a problem on your jobsite that needs to be fixed? Create issues directly on your orthomosaic in Site Scan and push them to BIM 360 Field, making it easy to collaborate with your field personnel and resolve issues quickly and effectively.

“With this integration, Site Scan has become the complete drone data platform for BIM 360 users.”

— Andy Leek, VDC Director, Paric Corp

Want to learn more about Site Scan, see pricing options, and get a free demo? Contact us and we’ll be in touch!

The post 3DR Integrates Site Scan with Autodesk BIM 360 appeared first on 3DR Site Scan - Commercial Drone Platform.

Introducing 3 New Site Scan Features

Today, we’re excited to share introduce new updates to Site Scan. These updates help Site Scan fit even more seamlessly with your existing workflows and help you get actionable insights from your drone data, making it easy for you to get actionable insights from your drone data. Here’s what’s new:

1. Enhanced PDF Exports

Overlaid PDF design file on an orthomosaic

Exporting PDFs of your drone maps is one of Site Scan’s most popular features. Today, it gets even better: we’ve added two new overlay options to your PDF exports.

First, you can view ground control points on your exported map, so you can easily locate them when out in the field.

Second, if you want to use our PDF Overlay feature to view your design files in Site Scan, you can now export those overlaid files as well, with the click of a button.

2. Improved Elevation Model

We’ve added a legend to the elevation model, making it easy for you to see what elevation range each color corresponds with. This helps take the elevation model one step further, giving you detailed information to help you grade and prepare your jobsite.

As one of our customers from Arcadis, a global engineering consultancy, said: “I find the elevation model helpful for understanding drainage and runoff areas. With Site Scan, we can get this type of information much faster and with far greater detail than a traditional survey.”

3. Intuitive GCP Workflow

Lightning, the Site Scan ground control point workflow, is 5X faster than alternative processes. Today, we’re making it even easier to use: Site Scan now displays the orthomosaic in the georeferencing workflow, making it simple for you to quickly find and tag GCPs and process them in the cloud. This is especially helpful for the teams who have one person setting GCPs and flying the drone, and another person back at the office georeferencing and processing the data—now, regardless of whether you were out in the field or not, it’s easy to find your GCPs by referring to an up-to-date orthomosaic of your jobsite.

Want to learn more about Site Scan and how it could work for your business? Feel free to contact us to set up a discovery call.

The post Introducing 3 New Site Scan Features appeared first on 3DR Site Scan - Commercial Drone Platform.

How Kimley-Horn Surveyed an Airport 5X Faster With Drones

Drones and airports usually don’t mix, but perhaps that’s about to change.

This past summer, there was a small black quadcopter buzzing above the runways and around the control tower at Front Range Airport outside of Denver, Colorado, capturing high-resolution images without disrupting the day-to-day operations of the airport.

This was yet another sign that drones—with their safe, automated flight paths—can be successfully integrated into controlled airspace, presenting big opportunities for surveying and engineering firms eager to make use of them at airports across the country.

Look no further than Kimley-Horn, a large design and engineering consultancy, who collaborated with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to perform this one-of-a-kind drone survey at Front Range Airport.

The goal: fast, detailed as-built survey and pavement inspections at Front Range Airport

“We needed an as-built survey of the entire airport, including our 200 foot control tower, along with precise inspections of the runways to spot any cracks or deformations,” said Dave Ruppel, Airport Director at Front Range. “We normally don’t have this kind of information available to us, and we thought that drones would be able to quickly and easily help us collect it.”

While commercial drones have been flown at a US airport before, this would be the first time that they’ve been used at an active airport to capture pavement distresses on the runways, taxiway aprons, and landside areas.

Kimley-Horn has an established drone program and performs aerial surveys on projects across the country. They saw an opportunity at Front Range to use a drone to speed up surveying time and collect far more detailed data compared to traditional methods. “As-builts and pavement management surveys are typically very manual, and requires spending significant time in the field,” said Edwin Tamang, Civil Engineer at Kimley-Horn. “On this project, it took a couple of our seasoned engineers about 10-12 hours to walk up and down the runways and inspect 60-70 units, looking for cracks, distresses, and structural deformations.”

The Kimley-Horn team performing manual pavement inspections for cracks and deformities

Not only is this time-consuming, Edwin noted, but it also requires putting engineers in the middle of an active airport, where they have to be mindful of safety and other risks. Kimley-Horn was looking for a way to speed up that process and make it safer, so their engineers could spend less time in the field and focus on analyzing the data back at the office.

The solution: capturing Front Range with 3DR Site Scan

Kimley-Horn is a long-time user of 3DR Site Scan, having already put it to work on a variety of projects. “We’ve had a great relationship and partnership with 3DR,” said John Heiberger, Engineer and Project Manager at Kimley-Horn. “Site Scan is one of the leading products in the industry. It helps us turn hundreds of high-resolution photos into orthomosaics, point clouds, and more, which has a lot of value to our customers.”

Surveying at Front Range was a new opportunity—and challenge—for their drone operations team. It was crucial that Site Scan worked seamlessly within active airspace without disrupting ongoing activities.

“While flying Site Scan”, said Bobby Valentine, Project Visualization Lead at Kimley-Horn, “Our team was out on the tarmac and communicating directly with the control tower. We were treated no differently than a manned aircraft. If we needed to let a plane go by while we were flying Site Scan, we could hit pause right in the middle of the flight and the drone would stop in mid-air. Then, we could resume the mission whenever it was clear to continue.”

“The thing that impressed me most,” Dave Ruppel said, “was the lack of any issues out there. It was very controlled, efficient process.”

Flying Site Scan on the runways of Front Range Airport

Perimeter Scan and inspection photos of the control tower

Bobby and his team used Site Scan’s Perimeter Scan feature—which is perfect for capturing vertical structures and façades—to survey the 200 foot control tower and create a rich, accurate point cloud. “I was impressed with how quick the workflow was, from collecting the data, processing it, and presenting it in a modeled, viewable format,” Edwin said.

They also used Site Scan’s Inspect Mode feature, and manually flew around the tower taking high-resolution, geotagged photos. They were able to capture parts of the 200 foot tower that would be impossible to reach without a drone. Site Scan made it possible to inspect the tower in just minutes, while keeping the field team safe on the ground.

High-resolution inspection photo of the control tower, taken by Site Scan’s 20.1MP Sony R10C camera

Survey of runways with ground control points (GCPs)

Kimley-Horn then performed an aerial survey of the runways and taxiway aprons, using Site Scan’s autonomous flight modes to quickly and easily capture the area and automatically process them into maps and models. With 57 ground control points set around the airport, Kimley-Horn took advantage of Site Scan’s new cloud-based GCP processing and used each of these GCPs to increase the absolute accuracy of their deliverables.

Kimley-Horn set GCPs (shown in white) across Front Range and processed them in the cloud in Site Scan

Key results

1. Detailed, accurate as-built of Front Range Airport

3D point cloud of Front Range control tower

After flying and processing the data, Kimley-Horn provided a number of deliverables to the Front Range team, including orthophotos of the entire airport, point clouds, and inspection photos from hard-to-reach places. This data will have tremendous value to CDOT and Front Range going forward, helping them plan any changes or renovations to the airport with up-to-date existing conditions.

“Now, we have the ability to take this data and build off it,” Dave Ruppel said. “Whether it’s for runway extensions, taxiway rework, or something else, we now have this up-to-date as-built data on file. We don’t have to go back out and collect this level of detail for a very long time.”

Despite the scale of this project—creating an orthomosaic and 3D point cloud of a runway that’s over a mile long—Kimley-Horn was able to achieve impressive accuracy figures. By flying at 200 feet, processing with GCPs, and measuring accuracy with 5 checkpoints, they earned horizontal accuracy within 0.06 feet (1.8 cm) and vertical accuracy within 0.16 feet (4.8 cm).

Not only does CDOT have this data for their records, but it also has immediate value. As Ruppel said: “Site Scan allows us to easily identify problems or changes that we might not see otherwise.”

2. Runway pavement management done 5X faster in the field

By flying Site Scan over the runways to identify cracks and deformations, Kimley-Horn enhanced their pavement management workflows, improved safety, and saved hours in the field collecting data.

With Site Scan’s Sony 20.1MP R10C camera, they were able to capture the runways in incredible detail: “By flying Site Scan at a 50 foot altitude,” Edwin said, “we were able to achieve a resolution of 1 hundredth of a foot. Ultimately, being able to see that level of detail can make the difference between identifying a small crack or a key, structural deformation.”

Orthophoto of taxiway with resolution of a hundredth of a foot (0.01 feet), collected by the Site Scan drone for pavement inspection

“Now, our team can interpret and understand the data back at the office, instead of doing this in the field,” Edwin explained.

“With Site Scan, we were able to achieve a resolution of 1 hundredth of a foot. Ultimately, being able to see that level of detail can make the difference between identifying a small crack or a key, structural deformation.”

— Edwin Tamang, Kimley-Horn

Next steps

“It was important to show the positive use cases of drones at an airport, and this certainly is one,” Ruppel said. With organizations like Kimley-Horn and CDOT showing what’s possible, safely integrating drones into controlled airspace is becoming easier and more common than ever before.

Kimley-Horn, for its part, continues to find new projects where the aerial view of a drone can make a big impact and create high-quality deliverables for their clients.

“Drones have transformed our industry,” Bobby said. “They are helping surveying, construction, and engineering firms improve the way they collect data, manage their projects, and more. With their speed, low cost, and safety improvements, drones have quickly become a crucial tool—and we’re only just getting started.”

The post How Kimley-Horn Surveyed an Airport 5X Faster With Drones appeared first on 3DR Site Scan - Commercial Drone Platform.

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