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Challenging Lowland Terrain Mapped with Drone Lidar

image of Challenging Lowland Drone Surveyed
Challenging Lowland Drone Surveyed

The team at Duplantis Design Group (DDG), a multidisciplinary regional engineering, architecture, and surveying firm, used drone LiDAR technology to survey a multi-use area more efficiently in Houma, Louisiana. The entire job site was 1,200 acres and the area of interest for this portion of the project was a 200-acre area challenging lowland situated between a bayou, the Intercoastal Waterway, and a large floating marsh.

From a Microdrones blog.

The floating marshes, known regionally as “trembling prairie,” can present hazardous obstacles. They look like they can be stepped on, but in reality, walking on them can leave you neck-deep, stuck in the marsh. These conditions make drone LiDAR one of the safer and efficient methods to survey this project. Otherwise, DDG would use airboats and walk the areas, adding significant time and expense.

However, this project isn’t cut and dry. Drone LiDAR still comes with its challenges. In this case, the survey area is also in close proximity to the Houma-Terrebonne Airport, meaning additional air clearance must be obtained to operate the drone. And weather conditions threaten to derail the mission. Here’s how DDG managed these challenges and delivered a successful project on time using drone LiDAR.

How Drone Technology Has Revolutionized DDG’s Workflow

DDG has been in business since 1997 in Thibodeau, Louisiana. They began as a civil engineering firm and later expanded to include architecture, landscape architecture, and surveying as a part of their offerings.

Like most surveyors, Cory MacMenamin began his career using traditional surveying methods. Technology has always expediated conventional methods and drone LiDAR has transformed the way DDG completes surveys.

“Surveys that took two to three weeks now take two to three days,” MacMenamin said.

Justin Schech, the UAV drone pilot, got in on the ground floor of DDG’s drone LiDAR program and immediately seized the opportunity to learn a new skill set. Of course, he’s not content to stop there. He is currently working on putting in the hours for his captain’s license to pilot a Marine One watercraft for other surveying jobs.

For the complete article on the challenging lowland survey CLICK HERE.

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