For sites ranging in size between an acre and hundreds of acres, drones are ideal for generating highly detailed and accurate elevation models. Montgomery County Maryland negotiated the receipt of 120,000 CY of top soil to cap the Gude landfill; however they had no accurate means of determining the amount of soil received. To assist on short notice, Gannett Fleming performed an aerial drone survey of the site of a future “stockpile”. In just a few hours we safely flew nearly 10 linear miles of planned flight paths, collected over 800 photos and generated a terrain model with vertical accuracies on the order of inches. Using traditional photogrammetric methods and leveraging scalable cloud computing resources, we developed a 70-acre digital surface model of the landfill at a ground resolution of 1 inch. A similar aerial survey will be conducted when the project is complete to establish the final contours and compute the volume of soil delivered to the stockpile.
Bel Air Impoundment is new water supply reservoir located near Bel Air, MD. To help resolve a construction dispute, Gannett Fleming performed a drone survey of the site to better understand the contractor’s earthwork quantities. The survey allowed us to obtain an up to date mass balance and check the reported versus design shrinkage factors. We could then use this data to more accurately determine if the remaining excavation would produce enough fill to complete the project or if additional excavation would be required. It also provided a quick check of the finished grade for areas where the contractor has already completed the work. The carousel below includes some CAD plans developed using the drone survey data.
Custom Bird's-eye View
Oblique imagery is aerial photography that is captured at an angle with the ground. The angle which is inherent to oblique imagery allows users to view and measure not only the top of features but the sides as well. Some of its benefits over vertical, or nadir, imagery includes 3D feature extraction, height measurements, better photo interpretation, more 3D points, 3D mesh texturing, and better ortho generation. The production of oblique imagery to support accurate measurements is relatively new to the drone industry. However, Gannett Fleming Drone Services has leverage its expertise in GIS imagery processing and web mapping to develop custom Bird's-eye views for small project sites, typically less than 100 acres. With a custom developed web-based Bird's-eye viewer, users can accurately measure objects in any direction. The image below compares the level of detail between Microsoft's BING imagery (left) and our custom drone Bird's-eye view (right).
PennDOT District 11 - Rock Cut Slope Mapping
On June 28th, Gannett Fleming demonstrated for PennDOT District 11 our drone capabilities along a rock cut slope adjacent to State Route 28 just northeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The area of interest spanned a 3,500 foot stretch of roadway 600 feet wide covering an area of roughly 50 acres. While onsite for less than a day, one of our certified remote pilots placed aerial control targets, collected high-accuracy GPS points, planned and performed several drone flights capturing aerial photos and video. From this drone data, a series of products were derived as showcased throughout this web site. The interactive digitial products shown are available for download and are compatible with industry-standard CAD and GIS software packages.
PA State Route 120 - GeoBuild Slope Stabilization
This project included aerial video of a completed GeoBuild project along PA State Route 120 just west of Renovo in Clinton County. The construction project included over a dozen slope stablization areas along a 1.5 mile stretch of roadway. The plan was to collected video of the completed project in late Fall 2016 prior to vegetation growth and snow cover, followed by a late Spring 2017 flight to evaluate how the vegetation filled in.
The drone flights for the aerial video and high-resolution aerial imagery was completed in one day. A single flight along the 1.5 mile stretch of roadway was completed from the west bank of the river maitaining visual light of sight, and two other flights were used to collected the high-resolution imagery. The drone video and aerial photography was processed in a few days and uploaded to the web for final presentation. For more details on this project scroll down through this web site and review the interactive digital products.
Glatfelter Industrial Inspections
Gannet Fleming was contracted by Glatfelter – a global supplier of specialty papers and engineer products – to perform aerial inspections of difficult to access structures within their industrial facility. Conversations began after Glatfelter experienced water leakage from the roof of one of their structures. The roof of the structure was impossible to access with its current design. Previously, the only solution would be setting up scaffolding or using a crane to view the structure and assess the problem. With the introduction of the drone technology operated by Gannett Fleming the engineering team was able to visualize and identify the problem in a matter of minutes.
While onsite Gannett Fleming performed video inspections of 2 structures at the Glatfelter facility – the Broke Cyclone and the Co-Gen Stack. An aerial survey to create 3D surface models was also performed. These 3D models will then be used to develop volumetric estimations for the inventory of woodchip stockpiles. Additional discussions revolved around inspecting the interiors of other stacks using similar drone technology.
US Route 209 - Retaining Wall Inspection Videos
Gannett Fleming is performing the repair of a half mile long stone masonry retaining wall supporting State Route 209 just South of Jim Thorpe, PA. The retaining wall varies in height from 2 feet to 25 feet with an additional masonry barrier height of 3 feet. In addition to deterioration of the wall, disjointed drain pipes have caused significant structural damage in several drain locations. The scope of work is to repair and support the concrete drain pipes, repair the damaged wall sections and repair the masonry throughout the wall due to deterioration and collision damage. Due to the steep slopes in the region, access is the driving factor in the inspection and construction of the project. Given the inability to easily view and access the riverside of the wall Gannett Fleming utilized their drone technology to survey and inspect the existing wall conditions. Flip through the carousel below and click any image to view the content in a new web page.
Gannet Fleming has developed a suite of software tools to support online video surveillance and inspection. These tools are designed to process "black-box" data from each drone flight along with high-resolution 4K video or still photos and develop an online interactive resource that provides point-and-click access to the media. Using a time-aware web application developed by Gannett Fleming, users can replay the drone flight in a GIS enviroment while viewing the video footprint. At any point during the replay, users can pause the animation, click on the footprint and automatically link to the video at that location.
For a sample appication, click on the image below for a drone flight surrounding one of our headquarter offices in Camp Hill, PA. With the web application open in your browser, click on the About button in the upper right for more details. For a direct animation link click here.
For all our drone projects, Gannet Fleming generates online interactive 360° panoramas. These high-resolution images from above reveal more detail as you zoom in. Click on the image below to link to an interactive 360° Panorama collected above the Etowah Hightower Water Treatment Plant outside of Atlanta, GA. To navigate the 360° panorama, hold down the left mouse button to tilt and rotated the view or zoom-in using the scroll wheel or right mouse button.
Utlizing high-resolution imagery from drones we can develope life-like renderings depicting as-built and proposed conditions. Is it real? Or is it Memorex?
3D Point Cloud and Online Model
Several flights were combined to generate a detailed survey of a rock fall protection project recently constructed by GeoBuild. Using several GPS-surveyed control points, a detailed 3D model was developed and referenced to a State Plane coordinate system. The 3D point cloud includes nearly 8 million xyz-points on the steep slope, and can be visualized in true color over the web. Click on the image below to launch the online 3D model, and use the menu in the upper left corner to navigate different predefined scenes and explore the 3D products.
Use the Contact Form for more information on how you can use a drone on your project, or provide comments on how we can improve this web site to answer your questions.