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H520 Roadway Mapping

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Currently working on a 10 mile FM roadway project, retired the P4P's and have moved all mapping to the Yuneec H520's. The only thing we are missing at this point is from an integration standpoint where there isn't as much 3rd party support, but in the end the H520 is just plain better for what we do. More versatile, longer run times, better wind resistance and the camera is faster. The Phantom 4 Pro camera is still the best mapping camera that I have used, but with advancements in algorithms to correct rolling shutter deviation the E90 is very good. Some people have voiced opinions about the color quality of the E90 and at first look they do look a little dull/muddy, but if you know camera settings and how to post-process the images come out much more balanced and realistic than the P4P. Shutter firing down to 1.2 seconds has been solid which means we can fly a little faster or a little lower than with the P4P. DataPilot has made some real advancements (with more to come) over the last 6 months and Pix4D capture works very well also. We use DroneDeploy for processing, data storage and collaboration.

Simple Corridor flight plan making a 1-mile loop. Half a mile each way from home up one side of the ROW and back down the other. 200ft AGL, 80% front overlaps at 16mph. Ground control points every 700ft and running an Emlid RS+ base and M+ drone receiver in PPK mode. This is turning into a pretty amazing case for drone use as the existing conditions did not match the plans and we are basically designing on the fly using the horizontal from the drone imagery in Carlson Civil. The overlay that was done by TXDOT moved the centerline of the roadway up to 2ft in some areas, but we have been able to redraw the alignment within a 2in tolerance. The overlay was also 1ft narrower than what was specified in the plans meaning that we had virtually no room for error to offset for our sawcuts. The project was planned as a complete rebuild, but because of the impromptu decision to overlay it first we are now sawcutting and providing 4ft shoulders, recontouring ditch lines and rebuilding all of the concrete box culverts. It's going to be a fun year!

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arruntus

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Interesting project that also introduces challenges when joining the different sections. Thank you for sharing it :)

Some people have voiced opinions about the color quality of the E90 and at first look they do look a little dull/muddy, but if you know camera settings and how to post-process the images come out much more balanced and realistic than the P4P.
Totally agree, I have commented on some occasions, they put a color profile that was finally worthwhile. And you've given the key, after a little post-processing, the color you get is much more realistic. At least I like it a lot. They're not going to do everything halfway or badly and when that's the case, it has to be said :D
 
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Joining each section together was only easy because I used GCP's. One GCP at each end is in both maps and pins them together, but there is still a little massaging to maintain the alignment across the entire 10 miles. This is where emulating the construction process is at. In the field they perform tasks A-F in succession as they work their way down the road and we are only allowed to work on one direction at a time so we will completely construct the eastbound and then work our way back west. Mile 1 might be through task D while Mile 5 is just starting task B. That way we can really treat each mile as its own project and have easy benchmarks to maintain. We just have to keep enough ahead to feed Pac-Man.

One other piece of technology that may not be related to drones, but may be interesting is the vehicle mounted topographic survey. I used the Topcon receiver you see in one of the pictures and used a quick-mount system to transfer it back and forth from the rover pole to a magnetic mount on my truck. I placed the receiver on the roof on the left side, calibrated the positioning vertically comparing checkshots from the roof and rover pole and then ran an auto-topo taking a shot every 1 second at 20mph providing about a 30ft point interval. I then moved the receiver to the right side and repeated the steps driving down each shoulder. This allowed us to collect over 5,000 points throughout the 10 miles and build a 3D model in CAD to virtually construct the shoulders and slopes from so that we could then put the model into our GPS-controlled machines.

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arruntus

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Interesting and I see the relevance 🧐

If it is a renovation instead of a new construction it makes a lot of sense, but in case of making new where without having to dismantle there can be quietly 50 cm under initial height, it makes so much sense? If you remove a mound from the layout (in new construction something very usual) it becomes much more complicated. They are the sticky ones of long routes.

Static GCP's on the sides at the edge of the work area would not help much in the subject of the different phases of the different sections? These would remain unchanged during the whole project and would help a lot with the initial elevation with respect to the final one.

When you can have the whole layout cut to the road traffic is much easier, but when you have to allow the transit in certain sections, or even worse, when it has to be alternative and simultaneous to the work? 😳
 
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but in case of making new where without having to dismantle there can be quietly 50 cm under initial height, it makes so much sense?
I don't quite follow this? Is it a question or rhettorical?

Static GCP's on the sides at the edge of the work area
Not really, outside the new overlay is our work area so it will be disturbed. As long as nothing unforeseen happens the centerline of the new overlay should be static through completion. We'll keep our fingers crossed that they didn't bust any grades or cross-slopes and we have to do any milling.

when it has to be alternative and simultaneous to the work?
Yes, we are leap-frogging ourselves and the traffic control does as well. Up to this point it looks like we are going to be primarily working 3-4 miles heavily at a time and there will be 2-3 separated sections where traffic is brought down to one lane requiring flagmen at each end with radios. Nevermind the 18-wheelers that are bringing the base in and hauling the excavated material out. Imagine the danger to my surveyors if I wasn't doing this! For some ungodly reason TXDOT has not implemented a reduced speed limit and the normal limit is 65mph! I had a discussion with our Safety Director yesterday though so we will see.
 
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Mrgs1

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I don't quite follow this? Is it a question or rhettorical?


Not really, outside the new overlay is our work area so it will be disturbed. As long as nothing unforeseen happens the centerline of the new overlay should be static through completion. We'll keep our fingers crossed that they didn't bust any grades or cross-slopes and we have to do any milling.


Yes, we are leap-frogging ourselves and the traffic control does as well. Up to this point it looks like we are going to be primarily working 3-4 miles heavily at a time and there will be 2-3 separated sections where traffic is brought down to one lane requiring flagmen at each end with radios. Nevermind the 18-wheelers that are bringing the base in and hauling the excavated material out. Imagine the danger to my surveyors if I wasn't doing this! For some ungodly reason TXDOT has not implemented a reduced speed limit and the normal limit is 65mph! I had a discussion with our Safety Director yesterday though so we will see.
Do you have " Average speed check cameras" over there? They seem very effective and there are portable ones, and have the ability to slow down a whole section of road for safety.
 
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Do you have " Average speed check cameras" over there? They seem very effective and there are portable ones, and have the ability to slow down a whole section of road for safety.
We do and a good idea, but unfortunately the State of Texas has the final say on traffic control. It's pretty silly in fact that we would pay for it ourselves and still can't without their approval.
 

arruntus

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but in case of making new where without having to dismantle there can be quietly 50 cm under initial height, it makes so much sense?
I don't quite follow this? Is it a question or rhettorical?
Maybe I haven't explained myself correctly, me and my fights with the English :rolleyes:

I mean to make the whole new road, including the base where you remove all the material or asphalt it on top of the old. Anyway, I thought about it again and the question didn't make much sense because I already found the answer on my own o_O

magine the danger to my surveyors if I wasn't doing this! For some ungodly reason TXDOT has not implemented a reduced speed limit and the normal limit is 65mph!
65 mph (100km/h) is a barbarity on a 1 lane road in each direction even if it has hard shoulders. In one lane the normal traffic and in the working lane you have the proper traffic of the work, a recipe for disaster.

I have worked as a driver of heavy excavators and even on roads closed to normal traffic exceeding 40km/h with construction trucks was dangerous. Then nothing happened anyway, but if it only happens once, then the lamentations come. I don't know how it works there, but here when the work project is done, public agencies review the safety plan, and that speed, surely they don't allow it.

The prevention of work-related risks is taken very seriously, many injured and killed along the way have made it so. It has been years since anyone has lowered a worker tied with the bucket of the excavator, or not made a trench of more than 1 m without shoring, mandatory reflective vest and under deck, helmet. These are simple things that often make sense, unfortunately when it is late. Something as simple as taking a walk around the machine before starting it to see if someone was asleep in the shade underneath, I did it automatically, without thinking about it.

I hope you can get them to slow down, not just for your coworkers, but for all the workers on the construction site.
 
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That brings up something else I just thought of that was interesting to this project that I had not come across before. The Texas Department of Transportation actually has a cease-and-desist order for drone operations in their Right-of-Way. I happily informed them though that they do not have authorization to restrict the air space and all that their order basically prohibits is taking off from and landing in the ROW. All I had to do was strategically plan my home positions just outside of it on the County Roads. I did have one base that wasn't close enough so I contacted the land owner and they graciously let me launch from their driveway.
 
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Maybe I haven't explained myself correctly, me and my fights with the English :rolleyes:

I mean to make the whole new road, including the base where you remove all the material or asphalt it on top of the old. Anyway, I thought about it again and the question didn't make much sense because I already found the answer on my own o_O



65 mph (100km/h) is a barbarity on a 1 lane road in each direction even if it has hard shoulders. In one lane the normal traffic and in the working lane you have the proper traffic of the work, a recipe for disaster.

I have worked as a driver of heavy excavators and even on roads closed to normal traffic exceeding 40km/h with construction trucks was dangerous. Then nothing happened anyway, but if it only happens once, then the lamentations come. I don't know how it works there, but here when the work project is done, public agencies review the safety plan, and that speed, surely they don't allow it.

The prevention of work-related risks is taken very seriously, many injured and killed along the way have made it so. It has been years since anyone has lowered a worker tied with the bucket of the excavator, or not made a trench of more than 1 m without shoring, mandatory reflective vest and under deck, helmet. These are simple things that often make sense, unfortunately when it is late. Something as simple as taking a walk around the machine before starting it to see if someone was asleep in the shade underneath, I did it automatically, without thinking about it.

I hope you can get them to slow down, not just for your coworkers, but for all the workers on the construction site.
Well put. They are all our workforce and my coworkers and we actually work really hard at having a reputable in-house safety program so it is pretty frustrating when something like this happens. I think enough will be said to make something happen. We just pray that it does before something bad happens.
 
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arruntus

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That brings up something else I just thought of that was interesting to this project that I had not come across before. The Texas Department of Transportation actually has a cease-and-desist order for drone operations in their Right-of-Way. I happily informed them though that they do not have authorization to restrict the air space and all that their order basically prohibits is taking off from and landing in the ROW. All I had to do was strategically plan my home positions just outside of it on the County Roads. I did have one base that wasn't close enough so I contacted the land owner and they graciously let me launch from their driveway.
I laughed when I saw how you solved it. It's incredible how we have to inform official agencies of how the regulations really work.

I'm talking about the cases here, the regulations may vary slightly from one country to another. It is forbidden to fly over roads (linear infrastructures are called them), you can fly a minimum distance of 25m from the side of a conventional road or 25m from the axis of a motorway (it is contradictory because a motorway is much wider and therefore reduces the margin of safety). If you have to cross one of these roads you have to do it at a minimum height of 50m. This is what the regulations say.

Therefore, take off and land in areas at least 25 m away from the roads also make here we have to throw imagination because in many places it is difficult to simply access an area that meets the regulations such as in mountain areas or wooded if we want to keep the LOS.

When a stretch of road is closed, the whole area becomes a work zone, the people in charge are the promoters of the construction (although it is still a road) and here, it is not clear if you could skip that regulation. When there is an alternate passage of vehicles or a single lane in theory continues to apply the same rules.

I have had multiple encounters with private security who do not know the regulations and in the end I have patiently explained above the regulations and that they are nobody to interrupt an air operation. The most serious thing has been that the same case has happened to me with policemen who did not know the regulations either, here you have to spin finer, and interrupt the operation until they consulted it on one occasion. Anyway, in case a policeman considered that the operation could be a danger for things or people has the power to interrupt the operation even if you have permission from AESA. Then you can ask for responsibility, but it's getting into trouble.

We're still in a very new business, in its infancy, and do juggling becomes the only option if you want to get the job done 😂 😂 😂 😂
 
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