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Why We Utilize UAS (And You Should, Too)

Imagine using balloons, kites or even pigeons to take aerial images. In addition to the challenge, technique, and costs involved, many of these photographs were unusable or didn’t have enough detail for the early surveyors and engineers to utilize. The aerial images we use today have evolved considerably from these early inventive methods.

Aerial imagery captured from planes has been used for years for a multitude of reasons, however, in the surveying and engineering world, we use them for mapping and planning. Aerial imagery captured from Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is becoming more widely adopted in the industry because of reduced cost and a higher resolution which leads to more accurate mapping. Aerial imagery captured by a UAS today are used for inspection purposes and to produce 3D site models, digital terrain models, orthographic photos, and topographic maps. For future design, we can map features like roadways, buildings, and driveways. We can quickly and easily mobilize and take pictures with extremely high resolution, all from the safety of the ground. Our images are also used to create 3D models of buildings or other large objects for planning purposes.

Holland Engineering, Inc. (HEI) offers UAS services. We own a hexacopter UAS with several RGB imaging sensors. We also have the ability to lease a fixed wing for larger projects when needed. It’s important to us to invest in the safest UAS units on the market today. In addition to safety, our UAS is very stable and able to carry high-resolution sensors. The combination of stability with high-resolution produces very high-quality results. The biggest benefits that a UAS offers is very quick mobilization, shorter time in the field, and more detailed results which allow our clients to make better decisions and designs.

Not only have we invested in the technology, but we’ve also devoted significant time and training into our UAS program. Our team has a very thorough understanding of the technology, and its limits. It is important to know what type of accuracy you can produce, and more importantly, how to obtain highly accurate results.

In our industry, we are driven by the need for accuracy and not just a pretty picture, but the bonus is that we’re able to deliver both. Contact our Geospatial Services Group Manager, Jeff Schepers, PS, PE, at (616) 392-5938 or email him for more information.