• About Aerial Surveying with Drones

    ​The NCDOT Photogrammetry Unit continuously maintains the highest level of familiarity with the advancement of technology in the field of aerial surveying.  One of these advancements is the use of small format sensors (non-metric cameras and LiDAR systems) on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) platforms to generate survey grade mapping products. The Photogrammetry Unit currently has one (1) DJI Inspire 2 (drone) with a Zenmuse X4s 20-megapixel non-metric camera.  This UAS is used to acquire overlapping imagery that is processed using Structure from Motion (SfM) software to generate survey grade mapping products such as orthop​hotos and digital elevation models (DEM)​ for on-going NCDOT const​ru​ction projects and for disaster respo​n​se situations such as hurricanes and slides.

    Due to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restrictions regarding how and where UAS can be operated, the Photogrammetry Unit has been limited in its testing and evaluation of UAS for preconstruction mapping.​

    Survey grade mapping products should always be produced under the ​responsible charge of a North Carolina (NC) registered Professional Land Surveyor (PLS).

    To cover the state in the most efficient manner, the Photogrammetry Unit is seeking to team with NCDOT staff located in Division offices who are certified to operate UAS and have a need for survey grade mapping products. The unit is also in the process of setting up Limited Services Agreements with private firms for both photogrammetric and LiDAR aerial surveys using the UAS platforms

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