February 11-13, 2024  |  Colorado Convention Center   |  Denver, CO, USA

Session Details


UAV/UAS Sensors and Workflows

Feb 15 2023

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM MT

Room 605

The acceleration of capability in uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) is undeniable. UAVs have demonstrated their capacity for a plethora of use cases, including mapping, aerial imaging, reality capture, inspection, and many more. The advantage of incorporating UAVs into workflows include the ability to reach areas that may be hazardous or difficult for workers to safely reach. This session highlights some of the ways in which UAVs have been leveraged to solve challenges in reality capture, construction and more.

Session moderated by Colin Romberger, Skydio

The Sky is the Limit, UAS Integration on Infrastructure Projects

HNTB is leveraging the latest in UAS hardware and software solutions and utilizing these advanced remote sensing technologies to integrate new data streams into existing workflows on some of our largest projects and programs, including; site planning, environmental constraints, infrastructure design, CEI, operations and maintenance and asset inventory and condition assessments. The utilization of in-house pilots and equipment along with UAS service providers and vendors allows HNTB to stay on the leading edge of the industry. Through the development of standards and best practice specifications, HNTB is ensuring consistent and quality delivery of a wide range of data and products to their design teams and clients. Imagery and other remotely sensed data is only the beginning of the integration as the captured data is post-processed into a wide range of products including but not limited to orthomosaics, point clouds, meshes, 3D renderings and photographic documentation. The field data and post-processed information is then used by various members of the project team for stakeholder/agency meetings, environmental reviews prior to the initiation of field work, preliminary design, mapping of utilities as they are installed, asset inspection and degradation over time.

Scott Tiller, HNTB

Using Drones for Cell Tower and Utility Inspections

Drones have been opening up new and exciting workflows for classic markets. Utility tower inspection is one of them. Many towers are owned by independent organizations that lease space to different Telecom and Utility companies. Key information as to what assets are on these towers, who owns each asset, the condition it's in, and how much space is available for new equipment and all crucial to keeping our infrastructure running smoothly. Drones allow more sites to be inspected in a faster, safer way. Close range photogrammetry and GIS asset management has made this entire process come together in a streamlined way. Scaling is also crucial as there are more than 150 million utility poles, and over 500 thousand cell towers in the US alone. This means regional inspection companies are required to cover all the infrastructure, and data needs to consolidated.

Come out and learn all the steps that go into Tower inspection including flight planning, photogrammetry processing, desktop based inspection, asset inventory monitoring, along with result/report dissemination to end clients. See what drones are commonly used and how the Skyline Platform scales to assist with creation and dissemination of the 3D information for thousands of towers each year. B + T group will be sharing their experience in this industry as one of the leaders in tower inspection and management.  

Nick Abbott, Skyline Software

Repeatable Workflows and Tools to Create Precise Digital Twins at Any Scale

You have invested in your enterprise drone fleet, hired your pilots, and trained everyone on the intended workflows. Yet you continue to invest in post-processing with highly skilled geospatial engineers, have large gaps in data or ordering re-flights, and your end-users are not using the 3D models created. Why? We will examine workflows and the software tools needed to create autonomous flights that are consistent, and precise. FAA compliant and have no gaps in their data collection. Account for weather and obstacles, then integrate with the data-collecting drone to ensure repeatability. Dialing in the precision needed through RTK, PPK, Ground Control points, or a combination of these will be shown and with the workflows required. This consistency will lower post-processing engineering costs, where either manual editing or algorithm redesigns have been used to produce your digital twin. Plus, the capabilities you need to demand and have from your tools to control your costs. We will review how to create and present the digital twin model to your end-user in the context required. Using real cases in construction and inspection, a demonstration showing how consistent workflows that deliver precision at any scale and stay within budget will be presented.

Josh O’Leary, AirWise Solutions

Creating a Digital Twin with UAV-Collected Data

A digital twin, or detailed 3D rendering of a real-world study area, is often the goal when collecting and processing geospatial data. The rapid emergence and proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones for lidar or image collection continues to make the creation of digital twin models consisting of 3D data more accessible. Beginning with a camera-equipped UAV for data collection and a GIS software for photogrammetric processing, GIS analysts can collect data and carry through the process to create a digital twin with image, point cloud, and mesh layers. From these derivatives of the geotagged UAV-captured images, further analysis can be executed with steps to generate terrain and surface models, extract key features, and overlay additional data for a more detailed 3D rendering of the intended area.

Mackenzie Mills, Blue Marble Geographics 


Skyline Software

Blue Marble Geographics

AirWise Solutions

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