Suppose you are experiencing difficulties with fly tipping on your work site or property. In that case, gaining evidence and subsequent legal representation could lead to a win in the law courts and a swift resolution. The effective use of drones and the camera footage they can capture can be examined in this case study.
A large vacant industrial unit was awaiting new business tenants. Although security staff patrolled the premises, an organised travelling group overwhelmed and evaded them and proceeded to set up camp on the grounds. Many caravans and the accompanying support vehicles built a large encampment. They started to use the empty building as a fly-tipping site. This was a well-organised operation, with many vehicles turning up throughout the day and night to dispose of waste.
The risks to health and the environment were impossible to calculate, as no official paperwork nor adherence to health and safety regulations was in place. There was no control over the nature of the illegally dumped items within the building. The client suspected that possible hazardous waste materials might also be left onsite. If this situation continues, the resulting removal and clean-up operation could run to costs beyond 100k. It would require costly Insurance claims and pay-outs. So, this untenable situation needed action.
The traditional route for resolution
In the past, the routes to resolution for similar situations have been passive. For example, waiting for the group to fill the site with debris and move on. This has the obvious positive that little conflict would arise. Though the resulting environmental risks, rising financial loss of rental and the clean-up, not to mention the impact on the local community are undesirable outcomes.
The second option would be to see if evidence of criminal activity could be obtained and submit this to the police to act. Although the police may not get involved quickly and so the more rapid route would be to gain evidence to support applications for injunctions and or evictions. This is the more proactive approach and initially the security company may be considered. However, in this scenario, it was felt that it may antagonise the situation and lead to a violent response.
How drone camera footage was utilised
The security company commissioned Iprosurv to deploy drone cameras to assist them in the collection of strong evidence. Iprosurv and its dedicated drone pilot operators use the latest technology drones. The cameras have zoom capabilities meaning that we could conduct covert surveillance from a safe distance in the initial stages. Vehicles were observed to have number plates exchanged, as drones were able to follow them to the various locations. Once there was sufficient evidence for an eviction process, the drones were further utilised during the eviction process itself.
Surveillance during eviction
Having an eye in the sky during the eviction of the offending group was invaluable. The aerial reconnaissance allowed for risk assessment and determination of resource requirements prior. Exits and entries were identified and considered in the eviction plan. The drones were able to gather evidence whilst eviction took place, ensuring that any violence from occupiers would be captured to support criminal prosecutions. Whilst also providing evidence of the security teams acting within their powers and policies to negate any future complains from the illegal occupiers.
The eviction went fairly smoothly and completion of the operation was 2-3 days in comparison to the usual 7-10 days. Owing to the shorter time frame, the waste deposited at the site was a reduction on similar fly-tipping operations. Meaning less impact on the environment. This also resulted in a reduction in subsequent clean-up costs and loss of rental revenue. The risks to personnel was lowered and the presence of the cameras provided health and safety and a duty of care to all. There was a diminished impact on local businesses and the residential community. Evidence of criminal activity and the identification of offenders led to both civil and criminal prosecutions, plus added intelligence for various agencies. Overall the client was satisfied with the effective use of the drone camera footage and the resulting benefits.
Drone technology continues building on solid foundations in construction.
Managing a construction project is no small task. From tracking site progress and monitoring safety, overseeing subcontractors and, keeping stakeholders informed, there is almost no end to the level of coordination required on any given day.
It’s no wonder project managers on job sites of all sizes are turning to drones for support. The construction industry has been one of the earliest and most enthusiastic adopters of drone technology. In the last year alone, the commercial drone industry has grown 240% and much of that growth is driven by the construction industry.
Aerial photos, maps, and 3D models have the power to transform your workflow.
Not only can drones save your construction projects money and resources, but they also give your team a technical set of data for more informed communication and decision making.
Sites can be monitored at any time interval to allow new data on the progress of the site to maintain an efficient workflow and site monitoring.
MAPPING AND 3D MODELING
Alongside surveys, innovation in drone software systems allows accurate contour maps and 3D models to be produced, based on footage and data gathered.
The process of high-resolution aerial imagery 3D modeling comes in
various formats but essentially enables images of the whole project area to be captured and merged into a comprehensive model of the area.
2D images can also be generated based on mapping technology.
Whilst 3D imagery offers full model benefits, 2D images allow accurate measurements and adjustment.
ONE DATA SET – MULTIPLE OUTPUTS
In most cases a single data set can be used in multiple outputs producing an Orth mosaic 2D image to look at the whole site in minute detail allowing you to assess site progress, safety issues and anything else you need to monitor.
As a 2d data set this is taking imagery in NADIR (camera facing straight down), it is very hard to understand levels and relief on the ground.
Using the same data set a DTM (Digital Terrain Model) can be produced at the same time, allowing site managers and planners to understand the elevation of the site, heights, and levels.
CUT AND FILL AND VOLUMETRIC CALCULATIONS INSTANTLY
During the early stages of the project, drones can play an important role in the levelling of the prospective site. due to the Geo tagged images and onboard sensors the drone can take land level calculations it can then through specific software calculate cut and fill amounts and locations. Stockpiles can also be monitored to ensure safety and compliance.
All this can be converted into a site-specific report for all stakeholders.
Many of the latest drone systems incorporate advanced situational and positional awareness for enhanced security and in-the-moment evaluation, response, and planning. Drones make the production of weekly progress maps far quicker, easier, and less costly than traditional methods. They also facilitate greater and easier information exchanges between construction companies and their clients, boosting overall efficiency, transparency, and communication.
SECURITY, MAINTENANCE, SAFETY
Security must be one of the main contributing factors to site safety using drones can allow site managers and stakeholders to quickly assess the installation and maintenance of security measures such as fencing, on-site cameras, equipment security and storage etc.
Using thermal cameras can give added security to help monitor and detect site activity during silent hours.
Due to the height of operations of the drone, a unique data aspect can be obtained to identify further risks such as proximity issues of waste and storage or other materials which could cause fire hazards and other issues.
Where areas are completely inaccessible, drones can be used and where there’s uncertainty about safety issues, drone technology can be used to save time as well as minimize risk. For example, drones can analyze roof structures from above, and with the use of a specialist internal drone which can be used in internal structures to gather data.
RISK AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT
Any areas considered too risky for sending in personnel, such as dangerous structures, areas where hazardous materials are leaking or where there’s risk of fire from flammable materials, mean using a drone presents a safer option as the drone operator can remain at a safe distance.
Specialist drones can be employed where access is restricted with onboard thermal, RGB cameras, and high-intensity spotlights all housed in a collision-proof cage to avoid damage.
SUPPLIED OR IN-HOUSE DRONE SOLUTION?
We know that one size never fits all, so we tailor our services to your needs. We can provide a full service of the pilot, equipment, data collection and, delivery.
Or if you want to add drones to your workflow, we can help you manage your drone proposition, source pilots and we’ll take care of all aspects of the drone management down to licensing and provide a white-labeled case management system for the delivery and monitoring of your data.
Established in 2014, Iprosurv provides companies with the in-house capability of drone and data/media delivery services. Our CAMERA system and optimum drone operator platform provides bespoke services be that an on-demand, fully managed service to independent data/media delivery services.
Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology across a range of industries. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure way. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.