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Landmark aerial inspection of Avon gorge

Increasing knowledge whilst creating dramatic efficiencies

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The Avon gorge is one of the most familiar landmarks in Bristol, a geological marvel that has played an important role in shaping the local inhabitants since the Iron Age.

As some of the cliff faces boarder a road, detailed surveys of the gorge need to be carried out at regular intervals. Ordinarily such geological surveys involve teams of climbers working in difficult and dangerous conditions over a significant period of time and frequently leads to road closures with resulting traffic disruption and cost to the city council who are required to ensure that the cliff face poses no threat to the road below. In an ever increasing effort to modernise, save cost and create efficiencies the city council commissioned a detailed survey of a two- kilometre stretch of the cliff face on the Clifton side of the gorge using the latest drone and sensor technology.

Future Aerial were selected to capture the large amounts of high definition imagery and data whilst working closely with engineering consultants XEIAD to create a detailed analysis of the rock faces. The imagery has been used to create a 3D map of the gorge that can be revisited and referenced to analyse areas of interest or concern. The project is believed to be the first of its kind anywhere in the country.

 http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Drone-allows-bird-s-eye-view-gorge-geology/story-25932508-detail/story.html

Below is a low resolution 3D model of a section of the cliff face.

 

Future Aerial helping boost Scotland’s Hydro Power

At present, Hydro Power provides around 12% of Scotland’s power with considerable potential to expand this through small scale hydroelectric schemes. Future Aerial have recently been working in the Highlands of Scotland to provide topographic survey data to help in the design and building of such small scale hydro schemes.

Typically, hydro schemes are in mountainous valleys, difficult to access by foot which means standard surveys methods are simply not cost effective. Step up Future Aerial with the capability to accurately map large areas by drone. What would have taken weeks, possibly months to survey all three sites took a mere three days.

This is just another great example of what can be achieved through combining the power of drone technology with the GIS knowledge and expertise of Future Aerial.

 

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UAV modelling of Tintagel Castle completed

Following on from our earlier post about Future Aerial being awarded (by English Heritage) the project to map Tintagel Castle, we are proud to announce the landmark survey was successfully completed. The combination of state of the art UAV tech, the skills of the Future Aerial pilots and data processing systems with the world renound English Heritage Geospatial Imaging Team has resulted in some jaw-dropping 3D output.

An island facing the full wrath of the Atlantic Ocean was always going to be a tough survey nut to crack. When the weather reports say calm and sunny, you can be sure that Tintagel has a quick chuckle and throws a gale! Fortunately, Future Aerial utilise some superb UAV technology and the best pilots around to deal with conditions which would send most others packing.

Setting the project apart was the combination of two UAV platforms (fixed wing and multi-rotor) with manual and autonomous flights to capture vertical and oblique imagery of the Island’s every nook and cranny. The project deliverables were very detailed and specific, requiring every inch of the Island to be captured from the correct angles with minutely defined image overlap levels feeding into the ‘Structure-from-Motion’ photogrammetry to produce an accurate and complete model. Future Aerial’s experience and knowledge of photogrammetric model building meant that the data captured fulfilled all requirements.

English Heritage are currently working with the data to complete a new exhibition for July 2015. When it goes live, we’ll be sure to update you with the stunning 3D models. It’s all under wraps for now but watch this space. In the mean time, here are a few behind the scenes pics of the UAVs in action to wet the appetite.

 

 

Cancel the helicopter

Interesting and thorough article on the commercial use of drones by the Economist.

“Drones can improve safety, adds Dillon’s John Fairs. They are increasingly used to inspect wind turbines for cracks instead of workers kitted out with climbing gear. Drones are also being operated for power-line inspections. As this can involve lowering from a helicopter engineers clad in insulating suits and safety harnesses to crawl along a pair of high-voltage cables strung shoulder-width apart, it can be a “recipe for disaster”, adds Mr Fairs.
Data collected by drone are often more accurate than information gathered by other means. Fitted with two cameras for stereo vision, a drone called AeroHawk can map the dimensions and contours of a road at a resolution of about 2cm, says Scott McTavish, boss of a British Columbian firm called Accuas that surveys infrastructure. The best a commercial satellite can offer is about 30cm, but it could take more than four months to book one and might cost at least $10,000, adds Mr McTavish. The aircraft-like AeroHawk does not need a runway. It is tossed into the air and recovered by parachute.”

Click through to the full article below

http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21635326-after-starting-their-career-armed-forces-drones-are-now-entering-civilian

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3D modelling a castle

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Real world structural modelling:

A big part of what we do at Future Aerial is create 3 dimensional models with imagery and geo data taken from our mapping flights with drones. although this is a fun illustration and an attractive subject it highlights the complex processes we can employ for purposes such as computer game design and simulations for visitor attractions.

Beyond inspections: 

An accurate and ultra high definition image of a difficult access structure is an invaluable tool to engineers for analysis and historical structural change monitoring. With repeated visits we are able to add historical layers to the models and identify exactly where any deterioration is occurring.

The model below may only be viewed on certain browsers, if you would like to view the high definition version please email info@futureaerial.com 

 

Blaise Castle 3d Model
by FutureAerial
on Sketchfab

How do we integrate #drones in our airspace?

“Sense & Avoid: The Technology to Watch” writes Megan Roden

Future Aerial tends to agree and it’s going to be an interesting challenge to solve. Interesting discussions to be had at @SkyTechEvent next year…

Full article here: http://www.skytechevent.com/#!sense–avoid-the-technology-to-watch/c1koc

Technological innovation is spreading across every angle of the commercial UAV industry, with everything from batteries to gimbals undergoing revolutionary changes. One such technology that stands at the heart of the UAV industry is “sense and avoid”.

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Comprehensive sense and avoid technology is a must if the commercial UAV sector is to achieve its full potential. At present, UAVs cannot autonomously detect or avoid other UAVs, aircraft or obstacles such as buildings, and therefore present a severe concern for mid-air collisions.
Read more

2nd day at #innovateUK14

We’re back at #innovateUK14 and our services are generating some serious buzz.

Here’s another closeup of the 3D print of Hermerdon quarry in South Devon.

Thanks to all the guys at #innovateUK14 and the #ukti. It’s been an amazing show!

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Future Aerial and English Heritage join forces

Following a successful bid, Future Aerial are proud to announce an exciting joint project with English Heritage to create stunning 3D models and visualisations of Tintagel Castle, Cornwall. As well as many years of experience in 3D mapping with UAVs, Future Aerial stood out from the crowd by using both fixed wing and multi-rotor systems to provide comprehensive coverage of high resolution photos.

English Heritage is currently undertaking a new multi-phase interpretation and presentation project at Tintagel Castle, Cornwall. In order to create a digital 3D model for the exhibition, they require  high resolution still and video aerial photography of the entire site. The resultant imagery will then be used by English Heritage to create a high-resolution textured 3D model using Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry techniques.

Future Aerial are undertaking the project throughout October, so keep tuned to see some amazing results!

 

EnglishHeritage

 

Tintagel

info@futureaerial.com

0207 7577489

50 Ashbourne Road
London W5 3DJ



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