Using Drones to QC ALTA Surveys


Recently, Orthotek Geospatial Solutions was tasked with the order to perform five ALTA surveys in the Island of Puerto Rico. Time was of the essence to have these survey done within a tight deadline set by the client.  One of the big things with surveying, at least in my opinion is the QC of the work and not only in the office side but also the job site.  Before I provide my client the  final survey, I always walk the job site to make sure nothing was left out or incorrectly drafted . And believe me when I say that 99% of the times that is the case.

So when we got approached to do these projects,  the first thing in my mind was the QC.  How with out the available time to do a final field inspection can we deliver these jobs on time?

ALTA_DroneThe answer came from a previous project where we used one of our newly acquired mapping UAV’s.   The quality, high Image resolution and positional accuracy we obtained with these new machines was so good that I though that it would be a good idea to use them for the QC.  Now, keep in mind that  in order to use UAV’s for QC on surveying work , you need to produce high resolution and mapping grade orthophoto.  the downside,  is that it is a time consuming and labor intensive process,  at least to achieve good quality orthophoto.  This discourage me on the use of UAV’s for this project until I started brainstorming the situation. “I only need these for internal use.    So I only need to achieve good Image resolution  and good positional accuracy, that is it.”   To achieve this  I was able to cut the processing step enough to produce a product good for internal QC.

In one day, I was able to Fly all five sites and these were scattered all over the island, from San Juan to Ponce. Fortunately all the  field work was completed so I was able to utilize and paint the survey  travels point to be used later as aerial targets control.  In the office side,  it took an average of 4 hours per site to process.  That is a total of 8 field crew hours and 20 office hours And the end result was excellent. Not only was it useful for QC but it help extensible the office personnel with the drafting. ALTAS are very complex and high detailed work and having an orthophoto cuts drafting time by a 25%.

In conclusion, using  UAV’s for QC on surveying project is not only extremely beneficial but soon to be a standard. It is such a time saver,  that we are working on implementing it as a standard for all our futer projects.

For more information, you can call me at 305-305-877-9721 or fill out our contact form on our website


Orthotek Geospatial Solutions FAA Section-333 Exemption

Orthotek Geospatial Solutions is one of the first companies based in south Florida to implement the use of small unmanned aerial systems sUAS for the collection of aerial imagery for surveying and mapping purposes. With the recent FAA Section-333 Exemption approval by the Federal Aviation Administration,   Orthotek Geospatial Solutions can now offer Architectural and Engineering firms high-quality, Survey-grade digital terrain models (DTMs) and high resolution orthorectified imagery with sub-centimeter resolution.

For more information, contact:
Juan C. Melendez, P.S.M.