September 15, 2017
AMT has established a drone use program in the last few months and we are moving ahead with various assignments that add value to our firm capabilities and the products we deliver to our clientele.
The firm purchased a DJI Phantom 4 Pro +, to begin gathering image data for promotional, inspection, corridor mapping and engineering conceptual planning. Our drone effort is compliant to all current rules and regulations. We have an FAA UAS licensed pilot, the craft is registered and marked per FAA regulations. We have also established a liability insurance policy to cover the use of this equipment commercially.
By definition a drone can be either a fixed wing configuration or a rotary wing configuration, with the common attribute being that these aircrafts are unmanned. The accepted acronym is UAS – Unmanned Aerial System, and you will find this acronym in all of the information related to these aircraft.
We recently captured video imaging of several newly constructed roundabouts in the Central Virginia region. As we analyze the 20-minute duration videos, placed directly over the center of the roundabout, viewing in the nadir view and holding the geospatial position within 0.5 meter, we observe the traffic patterns and identify conflicts that may be corrected by the engineering design of current and pending projects. Vehicles are observed and the decisions made by the drivers can be analyzed as they choose entry, circle and then exit the roundabout feature. For other roadways, we have been able to observe analytical image data for the purpose of identifying traffic management challenges during peak usage at intersections, merges and highway interchanges.
So, you may ask, “where does the future take us when it comes to drone usage?” We are going to be utilizing drones (UAS) for surveying, mapping, 3D modelling, inspection, engineering concepts, promotional materials and traffic analysis. These methods for processing data and uses will be expanding as we move forward. It is likely that AMT will be investing in several UAS for use in the various and expanding offices of the firm.