Utilizing UAV and LiDAR in McHenry County, Illinois

Holland Engineering recently completed a pipeline encroachment survey in McHenry County, Illinois, using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and LiDAR.

Holland Engineering has been flying UAVs since 2013. In order to offer a full spectrum of UAV services, we have invested in UAV multi-copter and fixed-wing systems. Using our experience and knowledge, we provide data that meets and exceeds traditional surveying methods. We also offer new products that can only be achieved with drones, such as point cloud models of the site and ultra-high resolution orthophotos.

Recently, Holland Engineering invested in UAV-based LiDAR, which allows modeling of ground profiles, even in wooded and vegetated areas. Unlike traditional photographic-based models and point clouds, LiDAR-based point clouds allow for accurate ground contours and feature identification. We also collected RGB photography simultaneously with the LIDAR data to create colorized point clouds and an aerial image to be added in the background.

To complete the pipeline encroachment survey in McHenry County, Illinois, we determined that using the UAV with LiDAR would be the most efficient way to collect the data while realizing cost savings and adding value. We surveyed existing conditions and encroachments within the existing easement to assist in negotiations between the operator and the landowner. We surveyed the parcel boundary, plotted the easement limits, and located and mapped the pipeline, trees, irrigation lines, structures, and features within a certain distance of the pipeline. Utilizing UAV and LiDAR has the added benefit that, if the offset limit of the pipeline were to change, we could extract more data without having to return to the site.