RTR Energy Solutions was recently hired by the owner of a Pennsylvania quarry to use drones to fly an area to determine the amount of overburden removed to date. Overburden is material lying on top of the asset.
Our client had a removal contract with a subcontractor for 200,000 cubic yards. Our task was to fly the site, build an existing ground model and then compare that model to the surface that existed before the work began. Our licensed pilot Mike Kunkel set and collected ground control throughout the site and, after setting up the flight path (totaling 6.3 acres), flew the site with our Yuneec H520 drone. The total flight time was 21 minutes and 327 hi-res photos were collected.
Our survey department set to work using a variety of software to stitch the photos into one hi-res image, develop a point cloud from that image and create the surfaces necessary to perform the volume calculations.
In the end RTR was able to report to our client that 176,369 cubic yards of overburden had been removed. Our deliverables were the hi-res finished photo as well as a plan showing contours developed from both the initial and final surfaces. Aerial surveying is much faster and far more accurate than conventional surveying, especially in the hands of a skilled pilot and a technician with 30 years of surveying software experience.
Whatever your surveying needs, RTR has a technical solution that’ll get it done as efficiently and accurately as is possible.