Our drone surveys

T&A Survey Drone Services uses unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones to acquire, process and interpret geophysical, geological and environmental data sets. Combining T&A Drone Services' knowledge and experience in gathering data by using a large variety of geophysical techniques with the latest UAS technology, we offer a broad range of unmanned services to our customers.

Our drones can be used for the inspection of plants, structures and objects which are otherwise hard or impossible to reach, for example wind farms (onshore and offshore), high buildings, bridges, chimneys, high-voltage pylons and cables.

Advantages:
  • The aerial photographs are more accurate and have a higher resolution because they are taken at closer range.
  • Inspection with drones is up to four times cheaper than traditional (manned) aerial photography.
  • Performing inspections with drones is considerably safer than performing manned inspections.
  • Heat losses which can damage the insulation of electricity coils can be detected.
  • During inspection there is no need to shut down the plant.
  • Drones can also fly under the cloud cover.

Technologies

The use of drones can provide new perspectives during archaeological research and excavations. Especially in surveys  covering large areas with many underground artefacts, like old foundations, drones can reduce time and costs considerably. This way the excavation activities can be more focussed.

Besides 3D mapping of  archaeological excavations, mapping of micro-relief in the landscape and visualizing archaelogical remains.

Advantages:
  • From the air it is possible to see structures and patterns that are not visible from the ground, because the overview is missing.
  • The costs of using a drone are much lower than those of manned flights, making the technology more easily accessible for archaeological purposes.
  • Quick insight in the presence of underground artefacts making excavations more focussed reducing costs and time.

Technologies:
* In test phase

High water levels and floods increasingly show the importance to properly monitor the condition of our dikes. With geophysical research, deformations and weak spots in dike can be detected quickly and efficiently. This can be done from ground level but also from the air using a drone.

Drone IR Thermography

T&A Survey Drone Services conducts dike inspections using a drone equipped with an Infrared (IR) thermography camera. The IR thermography camera provides a thermogram, a visual representation of the temperatures on the object of measurement, with different colors indicating different temperatures. Weak spots in dikes are often not visible to the eye, but can easily be recognized on thermography images. It is therefore important to have the GPS coordinates of each recording, in order to accurately locate weak spots.

Drone LiDAR
With a LiDAR (Laser Imaging Detection And Ranging) sensor attached to a drone, T&A Survey Drone Services can register  the geometry of dike bodies in detail. The LiDAR sensor measures the distance to point in the surroundings using a laser pulse. This results in a point cloud of millions of points, each with a position (x, y, z) and a reflection value. The end result is a very accurate 3D image of the surface of the dike.

Drone photogrammetry
Photogrammetry is the creation of maps using digital aerial photographs made by a special, high-resolution photo camera. By attaching this lightweight camera to a drone, high-resolution digital 3D aerial photographs are generated which are then processed with special software.

 
With the help of T&A Survey's waterbottom research techniques, T&A Drone Services can make 3D digital elevation and terrain models and orthophoto mosaics of areas streching both above and below the water level.

The parts of the research area which are situated above the water level can be mapped by drones. The area below the water level will be surveyed from a vessel equipped with multi probe gradiometer, side can sonar, sonic depth finder and/or multibeam. Waterbottom research with the above techniques can also be done using a ROV (Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle) and/or an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle). The ROV can be equipped with a multi-sensor frame holding 8 to 12 gradiometer probes and a shortrange sonar camera.

By combining the results we are able to create a complete digital terrain model of for example breakwaters, piers, floodplains, delta's, harbours and coastal area's.

Advantages:

  • All image made above and below the waterlevel are integrated into one othophoto mosaic.
  • Projects can be carried out in a shorter period of time compared to traditional survey methods.
  • Drones can fly slower and lower compared to manned airplanes, resulting in images of higher quality.

Techniques:
  • Photogrammetry
  • High precision, high resolution photo and video camera's

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or drones are very suitable for the detection of  UXO in large or inaccessible areas. Drone UXO detection is done with a drone magnetometer system*. The digital fluxgate magnetometer used for our surveys is a 3-component, high precision and low noise vector magnetometer. During the flight the drone is kept at a constant hight of 1-3 meter using a laser sensor, in order to obtain accurate results with high resolution. All flight details (speed, hight, location) are registerd and are completely reproducible in order to ensure the quality of the survey.

UXO detection can be done with either a multirotor or a fixed wing drone. If the survey requires  to fligh at low hights to ensure the necessary accuracy and resolution, a multirotor drone is used. The weight of a multirotor drone including the magnetometer sensor is less than 4.5 kg.

Advantages
Performing drone UXO surveys has several advantages over ground level surveys:

  • Inaccessible areas such as swamps, areas suspected for UXO (landmines or road side bombs) or heavily polluted sites become accessible for surveying.
  • Higher productivity, especially in open areas.
  • Obstacles are not a problem as the drone can avoid them.
  • High resolution data.
  • Less personnel and equipment is needed, making the survey more cost-efficient.

Technologies
* Currently in test phase

Drones provide an important innovation in vegetation monitoring. By attaching a multispectral of hyperspectral NIR (near infrared) camera to a drone it is possible to map the health of crops. By manipulating the obtained images, we are able to determine the weak spots or diseases like mould in the vegetation. Using the right sensors, soil quality, composition and humidity can be determined. Changes in vegetation health over a specific period of time can also be mapped. 

Agronomists make more and more use of drone technology for crop monitoring. The spraying of pesticides can be more targeted and less frequent, reducing costs and pollution of the environment (soil and groundwater).

Advantages:
  • Unlike satelite images, drones are able to make detailed maps of relatively smaller areas.
  • The use of drones makes the technology more accessible due to the much lower costs compared to manned flights.
  • Less environmental pollution caused by the spraying of pesticides.

Technologies:


With the help of T&A Drone Services' drones, the environment can be monitored for erosion, land degradation and the encroachment of invasive species. Pollution and environmental disasters can be monitored and the appropriate restorative action plans can be identified and carried out.

Advantages:
  • UAVs offer a timely and cost effective means of collecting high resolution data for environmental survey and monitoring purposes.
  • The ability to fly safely at a lower altitude, flexibility and agility make it possible to  conduct drone inspections in areas which can be difficult or dangerous to access by other methods and allows for greater coverage than conventional approaches. 
  • Drones can cover a vaster area compared to conventional survey methods.
  • The high-res images transmitted by the drone can be viewed in real-time or immediately after flight. If necessary, more detailed on the spot inspections can be carried out. 
  • Since the flight plans are based on GPS positions, they can be repeated on a regular basis for purposes of comparison, analysis and planning. 

Technologies:
* In test phase

Projects: