Surveying the Largest Limestone Quarry in a Day

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Surveying the Largest Limestone Quarry in a Day

Surveying helps organizations to gain a deeper understanding of their operations and evaluate them more effectively. The data obtained from these surveys are used for a multitude of purposes such as Stockpile Tracking, Traffic Management, Blast Planning, Water Management and Cloud Reporting. But traditional surveying would take from weeks to months to complete depending on the size of the site, making this a costly, time consuming and hazardous process. Drone conducted surveys can map an entire site in a very short amount of time. We, using our expansive drone fleet were able to map the entire quarry of 13.7 km2 in just a day.
SR-Site
Using Drone Technology, the overall efficiency of operations can be improved while reducing costs. By providing accurate and comprehensive data detailing site conditions in a short amount of time; quick and informed decisions can be made. This is possible by using Drones to collect geo-referenced images and videos that are quickly transformed into precise 2D Orthomosaic maps or 3D reality captures of any site. This can then be used to calculate volume, perform site surveys, design road layouts and much more. Drone Technology makes surveying efficient and effective overall and eliminates many of the health and safety concerns.
One km² drone data contains more than 44 million points, while terrestrial surveying contains only a few thousand or even a few hundred. 


Faster

Terrestrial Surveying involved having a surveyor or teams of surveyors moving about in a site to set up their equipment and take readings. On average, it takes the surveyor between 20-45 minutes to set up at each point and take the reading. Often a site may not be safe enough for a surveyor to be walking through, leading to delays in operations. This whole process from start to finish can take weeks or even months to complete.

In comparison, using drones we covered an area of 13.7 km2 in one day. That is an impossible task to achieve in one day using traditional survey methods. Drones operate at a safe altitude and will not interfere with any of the operations, avoiding any downtime. Once all the data is collected, it is then processed and delivered. Using drones, you can cover larger areas in a short amount of time without stopping your operations.

Safer

As mentioned earlier, a site may not be safe for surveyors to be walking around in. The hazards aren't just by nature of the operations but also the terrain they must traverse to complete their task.

Surveyors expose themselves to several hazards while on-site. They might have to climb on top of unstable stockpiles, or even uneven ground to take their readings. This can lead to slips, trips, and falls, easily injuring the surveyor. A significant risk is the heavy machinery that operates on these sites leading to struck-by or caught-in accidents.

Drone operators can fly their drones from a distance, removing the need for a surveyor to put themselves in danger physically. By using drones, a myriad of potential accidents can be avoided, increasing safety and reducing insurance costs.

Accurate 

A drone can take about 500 high-res photos per 30 mins flight. Using these images, technicians can generate Digital Cloud points; each of the points has an X, Y, and Z value. The data that is collected is so accurate and precise that you can accurately measure the distance between two points. Using this the volume and weight of different materials in stockpiles can be calculated.


One km² drone data contains more than 44 million points, while terrestrial surveying contains only a few thousand or even a few hundred. This is why drone data is more accurate compared to terrestrial surveys, the output is precise and rich in data.

The Largest Limestone Quarry in the World

The FEDS team had a chance to conduct a land survey and map a limestone quarry located in Ras al Khaimah's mountain ranges, measuring a massive 13.7 km2 in total. Surveying this entire site is critical to the operations of the quarry. Previously surveying this site took the client about two months to complete; it was an enormous effort to survey the entire site, making it an expensive and unsafe use of time. Using drones the FEDS team were able to map this entire site in just one day, a previously unimaginably short amount of time.
What traditionally took more almost two month was completed in just one day. Over the course of a few hours, the drones had taken 6,281 high-resolution images, using which the team would generate Orthomosaic Images and 3D reality captures.

The FEDS team's experts devised a plan splitting up the site into three large segments; upper, middle, and lower. Four skilled Drone pilots were split into two teams to cover more area in less time. The FEDS team decided to use senseFly's eBeeX fixed-wing drone. The eBeeX was selected for its ability to fly for longer distances per flight and would be able to cover the site efficiently.

Each team has their drone, and a central backup drone is kept on standby. The teams fly their drones for about 20-30 mins at an altitude of 120 m from the ground taking about 500 high-resolution photos per flight. The FEDS team completed surveying the entire 13.7 km2 site in a record short amount of time. What traditionally took more almost two month was completed in just one day. Over the course of a few hours, the drones had taken 6,281 high-resolution images, using which the team would generate Orthomosaic Images and 3D reality captures.





A project this size would typically take two days to survey by drone. But with their high-tech drone fleet and resident experts, the FEDS team completed the task in record time. The project was concluded with a horizontal accuracy of 3 cm, vertical accuracy of 6 cm. This amount of accuracy was achieved by using a total of 25 GCPs (Ground Control Points) for the entire 13.7 km2 area.

Without employing Drone Technology, the survey would have taken much longer to complete causing delays in operations and posing a risk to the surveyors. Using drones, the surveying process was streamlined and made efficient, there was no delay in operations and the drones captured the required images and videos in just one day. The process of surveying this site was made quick, accurate and safe using drones which provided accurate and actionable data in just a fraction of the time required.

Benefit from a much faster turnaround time, using drones you can have a more cost effective way of carrying out land surveys. Get in touch with us if you have any questions on how drone data can benefit you.
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