How to quickly estimate the time it takes to conduct a drone survey
Surveyors and mappers using drones face the risk of not properly estimating the time it takes to collect data in the field. Having proper information in hand during the project planning phase is crucial. Delair has published the UX11 Project Calculator to solve that challenge. It’s an online tool that helps drone pilots plan aerial mapping missions in advance. The calculator will help you estimate how much field time will be required to complete a project. It can be used whether you currently own a UX11 fixed-wing mapping drone or you are considering the purchase of one and want to have an idea of what it can do.
Poor drone mission planning leads to wasted time and money
When it comes to planning a drone mapping project, one can easily underestimate or overestimate the time it may take to collect data in the field. Poor planning can lead to a lack or a waste of resources, missed deadlines, inefficiency, and disappointment.
With proper information during the project planning phase, a drone operator can avoid surprises and budget overruns if they have a decent estimate of the time and resources it will take to complete a project.
Help plan and budget for your drone survey
The Delair UX11 Project Calculator is a simple online tool that estimates key factors that are useful for planning and budgeting for an aerial survey.
This tool has been designed by an in-house team of experienced surveyors and GIS specialists as well as certified drone pilots to serve the needs of UAV pilots involved in surveying and mapping missions.
To use the tool is simple, just follow these three steps.
1. Select the right drone based on the payload required for the project.
The Delair UX11 with a 3-band (blue, green, red) visual spectrum camera for standard surveying or mapping projects such as for creating surface models or orthomosaic imagery
Or the Delair UX11 Ag with a MicaSense RedEdge-MX, a 5-band (blue, green, red edge, near-infrared) narrow spectrum camera for projects evaluating vegetation such as in agriculture and forestry
2. Enter the surface area for the area to be mapped in hectares, then enter the desired flight height, side overlap, and forward overlap.
3. Click on Calculate and the estimated results will be displayed below including: ground sampling distance, number of flights and total flight time required to complete the project.
The outputs generated by this tool are estimates and the following assumptions are made:
1. The area is square in shape
2. Takeoff and landing locations are within the project area
3. Some battery life is conserved for flight maneuvers
4. Flight conditions are ideal
While the calculations should not be taken as perfectly accurate, they do provide a quick and convenient way to validate the feasibility, required resources, and potential timeline to complete a project.
Use the Delair drone mission planning software to get a real-life flight plan
For a more accurate estimate, the Delair Flight Deck application can be used. The actual flight area, takeoff location, landing location, and other inputs can be entered to produce a real UX11 flight plan for the project. This only takes a few minutes and the application can be downloaded for free on an Android tablet from the Google Play Store.