Drones in the Philippines: Applications in Construction, Real Estate, and EnergyAlexa from the Philippine Drone Network
Drones used to be a gimmick. Now they’re a competitive advantage used by the top construction companies and an essential tool in many other industries.
Thanks to the accuracy, safety, and affordability of using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), drones are more accessible than ever with new applications being discovered everyday.
Here are 3 big examples of how Philippine Drone Network partners have helped streamline and make construction more efficient:
1. Reconnaissance survey for new hydro power plants
Problem: We need a detailed visualization of the property for reconnaissance and road planning, but dense vegetation and steep slopes are causing delays.
The client needed to get an accurate visualization of the construction site to prepare the routes for heavy machinery and other equipment. However, the proposed site had extremely high slopes surrounded by forest.
The steepness of the site together with dense vegetation around the area meant that engineers will not be able to cover a huge part of construction site when conducting their own survey. Additionally, the section that they could cover would take significantly longer due to survey to the inaccessibility of the forest.
Our drone association partners created a flight plan and deployed a specialised drone for high elevation and vegetation.
A single drone can survey up to 200 hectares per day and make accurate measurements of distance and elevation. This includes development site that are inaccessible or too hazardous to visit on foot.
A single drone equipped with photogrammetry sensors and GPS was enough to survey the entire construction site and collect topographic data. This data was used to create a project report with high-resolution video of the property that helped the client schedule the construction needed and estimate costs.
2. Progress monitoring for the construction of a water treatment plant
Problem: Structures with high risk activities and heavy machinery need to be inspected for flaws without compromising our team’s safety.
The client needed to monitor the progress in their construction site and inspect the structural integrity of the buildings in progress.
This project covered an extremely large area that would take weeks of inspections if manually done on foot. It also involved surveying high risk areas for personnel due to heavy equipment used in the different treatment plants.
Our drone partners deployed a structural inspection drone to get photo and video documentation of construction progress made over time. These inspections were scheduled regularly and the data processing was automated which produced consistent and reliable reports for the client.
The recorded photos and videos had extremely high resolution – enough to visually check for cracks and leaks across the pipes, walls, and roofs of each building. These spotted potential issues and saved the client massive amounts of time & money by flagging repairs before they became a problem.
Drone flights were automated to make sure data is reliable without compromising the safety of on-site staff.
3. Topographic mapping for a 100 square km project site
Problem: Our feasibility report needs to record all ongoing micro-activities, but the site is too large and expensive to survey.
Typical sources of information of an area this large such as existing satellite photographs were outdated and were too low resolution to properly identify the ongoing micro activities happening around the project site. The size of the project also meant that deploying a survey team on foot would be extremely expensive in terms of time, money, and manpower.
Our partner provider deployed a survey drone to get real time aerial imagery and videos of the project site. The aerial drone created up to date maps by combining its own data with high precision real-time kinematic data.
As part of the flight plan, the reconnaissance drone also collected highly accurate geodata to create topographic and elevation maps. These identified the locations and extent of activities happening in the development site with minimal costs.
Maps and reports were delivered in only 2 weeks. This was much faster and more cost-efficient than the 3 months it would’ve taken a ground team to complete it with the same accuracy.
4. Presenting a demo of future real estate construction
Problem: We want to showcase our project and present how the property will look on-site even before construction starts.
Drones produced accurate terrain models of the site and overlaid rendered images of buildings with custom animation to show the future construction.
The animation was combined with high-resolution video and imagery captured by the drone to demonstrate how the building will progress and ultimately look like.
These enhanced the presentation and give clients a better understanding of plans and how the project will proceed.