When the terrain is challenging, skies are overcast, and you need data now.

As practical uses for unmanned aerial systems (UAS/drones) make their way into project development, UAS are evolving as a rapid deployment solution for gathering site data, communicating site design, and monitoring construction activities. UAS technology is an option Westwood offers with its aerial mapping and LiDAR solutions to remotely collect existing survey/topography data, or record flyovers to study, monitor, and market projects.

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Fast, Affordable, Experienced

Consumer and commercial drones are easily accessible, so when it comes to using them on projects, it is important to make sure that the technology is used by professionals who are qualified to deliver the desired end result. The value we deliver comes from 45 years of experience delivering a full range of surveying and engineering solutions on projects from design through completion. Our pilots are equipped with fixed-wing and rotary UAS with and without onboard RTK GPS. 

Westwood’s Drone Services Are:

  • Integrated - As a full-service consultant we are equipped to be nimble and cost-effective when surveying a site. Drones are one piece of the bigger solution at Westwood.
  • Responsive - Our fleet of drones allow for rapid data acquisition and turn-around.
  • Cost-effective - Drones enable our clients to capture aerial imagery on projects that may not be economically feasible using traditional aircraft.

Westwood’s drone operators are FAA Part 107 certified UAS pilots who adhere to FAA regulations for safe UAS operation. Our pilots, who are survey crew chiefs, work with our certified photogrammetrists and licensed land surveyors to perform land survey data acquisition. Together, they ensure that the aerial photography is registered to ground coordinates so the drone can be used as an acquisition source of survey data in each of the markets that Westwood serves. Our surveyors collect GPS-based photo control and check points on the photography, supplement the data with features not seen in the aerial photo, and perform boundary surveys of the projects they work on. This coordinated effort results in the responsive delivery of a quality product.

In some states, a licensed land surveyor or certified photogrammetrist is required to perform data collection from aerial photography. With a survey team licensed in 39 states and utilizing partners nationwide, Westwood can perform commercial drone flights across the country. 

Common Uses for Drones on Projects

  • When Safety is a Concern - When active construction sites or challenging terrain pose safety concerns, drones can be a preferred option for obtaining aerial maps or capturing elevation data.
  • When More Detail is Necessary - The drone’s ability to fly at very low altitudes enables us to obtain extremely high resolution aerial imagery (down to 1” pixels). As a result, high-detailed elevation models (DTM) rival traditional LiDAR acquisition. By ensuring that aerial photography is registered to ground coordinates, Westwood’s certified photogrammetrists secure data for boundary lines, design features, and constructed features that can be overlaid on top of the photography.
  • When a Flyover Would Help Sell the Project - Drones are often used for marketing, typically during the planning phase or after completion of a project. Westwood’s aerial mapping and surveying team are professionals who fully understand the construction process and know what clients are looking for. This sets us apart from the startup drone firms who often offer flyovers without fully understanding the intent.