An adventurous kayaking trip turned into a nighttime rescue operation when 69-year-old Mark Thompson found himself stranded on an island in the Saco River. The Conway resident and his son had set out on the river near Diana's Bath in Bartlett with the intent to paddle downstream. However, a challenging stretch of the river resulted in both kayaks capsizing.
Although Thompson's son successfully managed to return to his vessel, Thompson himself reportedly lost his boat, opting instead to swim towards shore. He was last observed around 2 p.m., trudging onshore towards Route 16.
Upon receiving the report around 7:30 p.m., Conway Police activated a comprehensive search operation. This involved a joint effort between the North Conway and Bartlett Fire and Police Departments, Center Conway Fire Department, and the New Hampshire Fish and Game.
The mission culminated close to 11 p.m. when a drone equipped with a thermal camera, employed by Center Conway Fire, identified a heat source on an island in the Bartlett part of the river. Using a rubber rescue boat, the team managed to reach the island and found Thompson shortly after midnight.
Fortunately, despite the harrowing ordeal, Thompson was found unharmed, bringing a relieving conclusion to the tense search operation.
By: Haye Kesteloo
June 20, 2023
In the wake of Industry 4.0, many companies have tried to utilise automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. This is especially prevalent in the construction industry where the need for increased efficiency and delivering a quality product both, physically and digitally has now become a necessity rather than an indulgence. Many technologies have sprung up to meet the challenge, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and drones.
Call it a drone, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) or Remote Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), it usually involves a flying platform that is remotely controlled by a pilot assisted by flight software, onboard sensors and Global Positioning System (GPS) / Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS). It has a payload which is usually a camera system, but could also be technologies such as LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and thermal cameras. There is shared telemetry between the drone and the ground control station which enables the pilot to fly in a stable manner.
DroneDeploy, a cloud software platform for commercial drones has compiled statistics on drone usage based on 100 million aerial images from 400,000 job sites in 180 countries in 2018. Below are some of the findings:
• The construction industry has seen an increase of 239 percent in the adoption of drone technology. The other two industries directly related to construction, namely surveying and real estate, have an increase of more than 100 percent for each industry.
• There are many benefits that are associated with the use of drones in construction, namely increased safety, cost saving and better data collection and usage.
• Drones are primarily used for progress tracking and communication, preconstruction and site planning, quality control and assurance, bid process preparation and job site risk mitigation.
55 percent of DroneDeploy customers report increased safety as a result of implementing drones.
Accenture indicated in their article titled, “A business approach for the use of drones in the Engineering & Construction industries” that drones “optimise project and maintenance costs”. In the current business climate, being able to optimise project costs and maintenance costs is crucial for the viability of a business.
A drone allows for tasks to be automated and conducted in parallel with operations. Inspection can now be done while the construction is being undertaken. Various drone platforms now allow for automated drone operations that provide vital information for construction, such as cut and fill parameters, volumetric analysis of stock piles, comparison against design data and conducting accurate and repeatable topographical surveys.
Drones also “reduce workers exposure”. Health and safety are a crucial element on all construction sites. Drones allow access to dangerous areas (working at height, chemical exposure, heat exposure) which were previously deemed as high risk to personnel and cost intensive. For example, an inspection of a rooftop would utilise scaffolding and harnesses, which take time and effort to setup, whilst a drone could capture a wealth of data in a fraction of the time and cost.
But that’s not all as drones also “enable best decisions to improve quality”. The key element in the progression of technology is the ability to provide humans with better information to be able to make better decisions. A bird’s eye view of a live construction site allows for accurate decision making based on real-time information as opposed to relying on narratives and benchmarks. Another element that drones bring is that data collected can be reviewed for lessons learnt, comparison for benchmarking and general archiving.
The who and where
Many construction companies around the world have started using drones as a vital tool in their projects. International companies such as Kier, Balfour Beatty, Vinci Construction and Mitie have started to use drones as a tool on site. On the Malaysian front, projects like the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and various rail projects such as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) extension extensively use drones for project monitoring and various land use analysis. It is becoming more and more commonplace in Malaysia for drone operation in data collection and analyses.
Drones are perfect for all manner of construction, engineering and inspection projects as they provide the ability to work in an automated manner and collect data that allows for better decision making.
Now is the time for companies to make the shift towards the many benefits that come with responsible drone operations. There are two ways to achieve this. The first is to hire a professional drone company that complies with the various regulatory requirements. Some discussion is usually required at the start to ensure the deliverables are in line with the need of the construction project.
The second option is to develop drone capabilities in-house to the company. The best way to achieve this is to hire an external consultant that could guide you through the process, thus speeding up the time to setup a competent drone team. The consultant will guide you through the process including purchasing, operation manual setup, audits, maintenance plan, training and software selection.
The next step
Drones will continue to improve and become commonplace in many industries. With AI starting to move into the drone space, the amalgamation of these two cutting edge technologies will produce a quantum leap in useable data that will help reduce cost, increase safety and maximise performance. The construction industry has to maintain a view of the future which will certainly include the use of drones, so as to ensure that it remains relevant and competitive in this ever-changing world.
*This article was contributed by 27 Advisory and Aerial Ascent. The 27 Group is a 100 percent Malaysian owned local consulting firm that is fast, flexible and focused with unique expertise that blends local socio-economic policy settings, global engineering-built assets and detailed financial analyses. Read more about 27 Group’s consulting services at 27.group. Aerial Ascent is a drone specialist company.
27 Advisory and Aerial Ascent
20 December 2019
June 7, 2018
Commercial drone use on the job site is skyrocketing. The latest drone trends and statistics from DroneDeploy explain why.
This past year, more than 30,000 users put DroneDeploy to work creating the largest drone data repository — now with over 400,000 maps of job sites, farms, and structures. Our growth is a testament to the growing community of commercial drone users.
While dozens of industries use drones, the fastest growing commercial adopter is the construction industry. Drone use on the job site has skyrocketed in the last year — surging 239% — and construction is now the leading sector using DroneDeploy.
With growth like that, you probably have some questions. How are companies putting drones to work? Who exactly is benefiting from drone data? And what are the results?
In this post, we share some recent insights uncovered from analyzing the latest DroneDeploy user data. Read on to get the most recent trends and statistics from drone data captured on 400,000 job sites in 180 countries.
Who’s Using Drones on the Job Site?
We talk a lot about what’s possible with drones on our blog, but who is actually taking advantage of the technology?Project managers, technology managers, and superintendents are the top roles benefiting from drone data to date.
It’s no surprise that project managers are leading the charge to bring drones to the job site. The typical project runs over budget, behind schedule. Drones help close the gap.
How are Drones Put to Work in Construction?
Builders use drones to collect real-time data about projects and understand what’s happening on site. Aerial insights improve progress tracking and help catch problems early — before they become costly or add weeks to a project’s timeline.
But progress tracking is far from the only way construction companies use drones. By spending less than an hour each week mapping a job site, contractors gain access to an unprecedented amount of knowledge about nearly every aspect of their project. With this data in hand, DroneDeploy’s software makes it easy to plan, communicate, and keep projects on schedule.
How are Construction Companies Benefitting from Drones and Aerial Data?
Drones do more than improve communication and help keep projects on track. They also increase safety, save time and resources, fast-track surveying, and deliver accurate measurements. We surveyed our construction customers to see exactly how use drones on the job site. Here are the top results.
We reached out to our construction customers earlier this year, and they reported a wide range of benefits from using drones. Explore the infographic below for the complete breakdown of the results.
What Software Tools are Construction Pros Using with Drone Data?
While thousands of construction customers use DroneDeploy on a weekly basis to collect, process, and analyze drone data, added value comes from incorporating maps and 3D models into existing planning, design, and management workflows.
How Accurate is Drone Data Captured on the Job Site?
As construction companies turn to drones for aerial data collection, we’ve seen a rise in the demand for higher data accuracy. Today, companies are using ground control points (GCPs) — ground markers measured with GPS to calculate absolute global positioning — more than ever before with DroneDeploy. The number of maps processed with GCPs grew 5X in 2017 and is currently increasing at a rate of 20% each month.
Measurements are also more common with construction customers. Construction companies use DroneDeploy’s built-in analysis and annotation tools to calculate area, volume, and distance accurately. Exactly how accurate are drone measurements? Using GCPs, customers achieve 99% accuracy. Learn more in our white paper: Linear Measurement Accuracy of DJI Drone Platforms and Photogrammetry.
What are companies measuring? Stockpiles are some of the most common things measured with drones on the job site. In 2017, DroneDeploy users measured more than 300,000 stockpiles to estimate value and track volume changes over time.