At Paul Reed construction we can handle a wide variety of engineering and surveying services to you. With a P.E. that is licensed in Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado we are there to help you with all your needs. We specialize in design build projects where we help our client get the absolute most “bang for the buck” and tailor to their individual needs. From the initial survey clear through the construction process we are there to insure a smooth job that stays on time and on budget.
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- Date: November, 2015
- Location: Nebraska, USA
- Surveyor: Paul Reed Construction & Supply, Inc.
The required task was to determine the volume of a sand pile (length ~ 125 m (375 feet), Width ~ 80m (240 feet), height ~ 20m (60 feet)) with a measurement accuracy of better than 5 centimeters (15-16 hundredths of a foot).
Original Effort Estimate
The original effort estimate to survey the pile and calculate its volume using conventional surveying techniques was 1.5 days: a day in the field, using a Total Station/RTK and a half day in the office to create a CAD model of the sand pile – based on the Total Station/RTK – generate measurements and subsequently calculate its volume. Fieldwork using conventional surveying techniques involved major occupational safety challenges due to the need to ascend the sand pile carrying the Total Station/RTK device in order to measure specific points. Another challenge was the need to measure and model the stockpile sides that are not easily accessible by foot.
Actual Required Time Using DatuGram™3D
The actual time to survey, create an accurate 3D CAD model of the sand pile, and calculate its volume was only 2.5 hours.
Fieldwork involved 30 minutes: 20 minutes to mark and measure several control points around the sand pile, and 10 minutes to photograph the sand pile. The pile area was photographed using a DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter which is equipped with a 12 MP camera. A total of 50 images of the area were taken in an elliptical arrangement, from the perimeter of the piles towards their center, at an elevation of about 25 meters (75 feet) above ground level.
A total of 25 control points were measured in the area using an RTK device; these points were used as control points for the geo-referencing of the images.
The actual time spent in the office to geo-reference and automatically create an accurate 3D CAD model and calculate the volume of the pile was 2 hours.
DatuGramTM3D automatically generated more than 8470 topographic points of the pile. The measurement accuracy of all the points was better than 5 centimeters (15-16 hundredths of a foot) in both position and elevation. The overall volume of the pile was calculated by DatuGramTM3D to be 52165.546 [m³] (68229.958 [yard³]).
Paul Reed Construction & Supply, Inc. recently started to work with the DJI Phantom 3 as its preferred UAV for volume calculation projects. The Phantom 3 is reasonable priced ($1,300), relatively easy to fly and although it only has a 12 MP camera it generates good quality images for this type of work.