A Real World Look at How Aerial Surveys with Drone Technology are Revolutionizing the Industry

How Aerial Surveys with Drones Save Companies Money: A Real World Look

Drones in Mining and Aggregates, Part Two

Aerial surveys for stockpilesIn Part 1 of this series, we took a step-by-step look at our process of measuring stockpiles through aerial surveys in mining, aggregates and construction. The process itself is quick and efficient, particularly in comparison with traditional quantifying methods (i.e. “walking the piles”).

Whether a company decides to invest in its own drone package for recurring aerial surveys, or hires a qualified service provider to come out periodically (Diverse Flight Solutions does both in the state of Florida), this technology is saving mining and aggregate firms a great deal of money, time, as well as liability.

Now that you’ve seen the calculation process, let’s take a look at one company’s in-depth economic study comparing stockpile measurement done through conventional methods versus aerial surveys through drone technology.

Aerial Surveys Provide Substantial Savings for Alabama Contracting Company

This study, provided by Kespry, begins by adding up the company’s costs associated with quantifying stockpiles at three sites—each with a total of 30 large piles—over the course of a year.  Costs were broken down into three categories as follows:
mining and aggregate measurementAnnual Costs (Without Drone)

Manpower – Before incorporating aerial surveys, the company conducted four internal volumetric measurements over the course of the year. Each of the three sites took a week to quantify, which translated to a total of 576 hours at $30/hr for an annual total of $17,280 of employee manpower.

Equipment – The cost of the survey and GPS equipment was figured by the firm’s finance department to be $11/hr, adding up to $4,752 over the course of the year.

Third Party Expenses – Two external ground surveys were completed throughout the year as well. One was carried out via manned aircraft at a cost of $11,000 and another by ground at $4,800, for a third party total of $15,800.

Total Annual Cost: $37,832

Continued on Next Page: Annual Costs Using a Drone/Summary

Agricultural drone technology

Drought analysis for farmers using drone technology

An unusually dry summer with drought-like conditions is making headlines across the East Coast and Midwest, and has farmers wondering what they can do now to prevent huge losses at harvest time.

While traditional methods of analyzing crop health like walking a field and manually inspecting plants can burn time and money, Detailed Aerial Solutions offers a simpler and much more accurate method: using drone technology.

“Drone imagery can create a mosaic map of farm fields to analyze drought stress conditions,” said John Ruggles, Director of Business Development at Detailed Aerial Solutions.

Those maps paired with tissue and soil samples can create a “prescription” that helps farmers care for the crops with greater precision, lessening lost time and lost product.
Even if drought conditions subside, excessive early dryness can lead to smaller fruit and lower yields; if a farmer can identify trouble areas down to precise field sections, it can have a significant economic benefits.

“Think about walking a field and collecting data by hand,” Ruggles said. “Compare that to flying a drone over an area; within a short amount of time, aerial imaging can be coupled with software that analyzes multiple conditions including crop stress and soil moisture.”

Knowing where to focus salvaging efforts like irrigation based on highly precise mapping and analysis of samples and conditions eliminates large amounts of wasted resources and saves money and time in the long run.

“Obtaining a bird’s-eye snapshot, coupled with advanced data analysis can nip big farming losses in the bud, even when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating,” Ruggles said.