3 Reasons Surveyors Should Add Fixed-Wing Drones to Their Toolkit

The life of a surveyor isn’t easy. Too often, you travel long distances to job sites only to be stopped by unpredictable conditions upon arrival.

While weather and other factors can cause expensive delays, sometimes even straightforward tasks like accessing the job site is easier said than done.

How much money have these situations cost you and your company? And how much time has been wasted?

The answer: Too many.

The solution: Fixed-wing drones.

Ready for takeoff! A drone operator preps an eBee X for launch at a mine site.

The use of fixed-wing drones for commercial applications, such as land surveying, urban planning and construction, is on the rise—and for good reason.

Drones have revolutionized the way surveyors collect data in terms of accuracy and efficiency. They’ve also made it easier for surveyors to map and access large sites—all while capturing high-resolution, georeferenced RGB images.

Accurate Data

For precise data collection that will satisfy the most meticulous, detail-oriented surveyor, fixed-wing drones are an essential piece of technology to add to your tool kit. For example, senseFly’s eBee X collects and produces data down to three centimeters of absolute horizontal and vertical accuracy without the need for ground control points (GCPs) using its high-precision, on-demand RTK/PPK capabilities.

From there, the data can be turned into a variety of deliverables, including point clouds, 3D meshes and geo-accurate orthomosaics. And with photogrammetry software like Pix4D, creating survey-grade 2D and 3D maps with the data collected from the drone is simple and efficient.

A digital surface model of a vineyard using an eBee X.

Time Savings

Using traditional terrestrial methods of data acquisition takes time. Fixed-wing drones help save you time by collecting the data you need quickly and efficiently.

For example, the eBee X can capture data with survey-grade accuracy over a 540-acre area in less than 90 minutes.

3D point cloud
A 3D point cloud from a ranch irrigation project. The ranch is bisected by a blue-ribbon trout stream.

Fixed-wing drones also help you survey and map sites from farther away.

The remote-mapping capabilities of drones like the eBee X mean you don’t have to step foot on a site to map it.

Not only does this help save time, it also makes surveying and mapping safer. This is especially true for hard-to-reach and even potentially dangerous sites, such as mines and construction zones.

And while weather conditions sometimes get in the way, fixed-wing drones map large areas so quickly that weather issues can mostly be avoided with proper planning.

New opportunity

Greater efficiency and accurate data collection mean more opportunity for surveyors.

By taking less time to collect data in the field with a fixed-wing drone, surveyors can take on more projects. The added flexibility fixed-wing drones provide help to complete those projects in a timely, cost-effective manner.

There’s just no getting around it. Traditional survey methods take much longer to complete for large projects, but with the help of fixed-wing drones, you can improve ROI and grow your project capacity.

What can take weeks with terrestrial equipment now takes days, sometimes less, with fixed-wing drones.

Contact us today to learn how fixed-wing drones, such as the senseFly eBee X, can help you survey and map more efficiently.

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