How Accurate Is a Drone Survey?

August 4, 2020 8:15 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Technology has opened a lot of doors for the surveying profession. Surveying large areas of land with a drone makes it possible for surveys to be done in a fraction of the time, and with fewer workers on the ground. They also produce incredibly detailed surveys thanks to the large amount of information they can capture in images and geotags.

If you’ve always relied on traditional surveying, however, you might wonder whether drone surveying can provide better accuracy in Mobile, AL. Read on to learn about how aerial drone surveying stacks up against traditional surveying methods.

How accurate is drone surveying?

Generally, the better the equipment you use, the more accurate your drone survey will be. The quality of the camera, type of drone, flight height and ground cover (such as vegetation) all influence how well the drone can capture an area. Depending on these factors, you can get surveys that are accurate down to a single centimeter.

How do drones accomplish such accuracy?

Drones use LiDAR technology, which stands for “light detection and ranging.” This method uses a laser light and measures the length with a sensor. The computer can analyze how far away an object is based on the wavelengths and how long it takes for the laser to return. LiDAR can send out hundreds of thousands of laser pulses per second, which makes it possible to get an incredibly accurate picture of the land. They also work with GPS and ground control points to tether the feedback. The ground control points are carefully selected. As the drone surveys the area, it uses the ground control points to recalibrate its location. This is particularly useful when weather and vegetation make it hard to accurately survey the area.

After the images and data are taken, they’re fed into software that analyzes the data and can create 3D models and orthomosaics. Naturally, the higher the quality of your software, the better the accuracy will be.

In order to verify accuracy, several sets of data are combined to form a greater picture. Each source is cross-checked against each other in order to verify how GPS and ground data fit into the overall survey. Generally, you can expect drone surveys to be highly accurate—most come within two centimeters, but they are often even more accurate than that.

When you work with an experienced drone surveying company, you can expect these kinds of results in your surveying. Although there are a number of different factors that can impact accuracy, most professionals know how to get the best results out of the drone as well as the software.

In short, drones offer a unique opportunity to survey land at a highly accurate level—as long as your surveying company knows how to operate it for maximum efficacy.

When you need to rely on the accuracy of drone surveys in Mobile, AL and around the Gulf Coast, call Polysurveying. We pride ourselves on using the latest technology to make the process easier and more robust than ever.

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