We operate two Geo-Copter UAVs which we use to acquire photographs and videos. We then process this imagery using a range of sophisticated, specialist software to produce orthorectified aerial photographs, 3D flyovers, ground models (DTMs), stock volumes and other outputs. We are experts in the geotechnical applications of UAVs and regularly use our systems to compliment our other services.
After 2 years of research of both fixed-wing and multi-rotor UAV's (unmanned aerial vehicles), QuarryDesign invested in the Greman manufactured Geo-Copter 8000. We settled on the GeoCopter as it provided a more stable flight platform than fixed-wing UAV's and as it can hover it enables remote face inspections that the faster flying fixed wing UAV's could not undertake. It's high payload enables the mounting of Digital SLR cameras for photogrammetric ground elevation modelling, or thermal / infra-red and multi-spectral cameras for geological and ground condition mapping.
The UAV has proven itself to obtain both topographical and geological data in numerous quarrying situations and in conjunction with our ILRIS long-range LiDAR received "Runner-Up" in the November 2013 MPA Safety Awards (see article in our News Section for details).
Take-off and landing is both manual and automated and flight planning is based on ‘Google Earth’ imagery. A simple user interface allows for the addition, adjustment and deletion of waypoints, orbits and landing points. These can be changed at any time during the flight.
Link to Youtube Video (click on above image to open our YouTube Channel in a new tab)
The above image is a 3d digital surface model (DSM) derived from our UAV and viewed in LSS. LSS was then used to produce the following topographical survey.
The image below shows another quarry (3d model as viewed in LSS) where a large silt lagoon was surveyed using our UAV (impractical to survey using traditional techniques).