Monitoring of Project Progress Using Drones

Category: Technology
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In every outstanding construction project, there is definitely an effective construction management. Construction management allows a construction project to be implemented according to plan. Every construction project must have a progress development works that is usually created by the site engineer. Documenting the progress of works is one of the requirements in construction management. In a progress report it is necessary to have a visual image as evidence. The conventional method used for photographing on the construction site is by using Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), commonly known as Drones .Besides, site engineer always have current issues involving limitation of monitoring on high reach point and entire view of the construction site. The purpose of this paper is to provide a concise review of Micro UAV technology in monitoring the progress on construction site through visualization approach. The aim of this study is to explain the importance of Micro UAV which can portray the whole view of the building, especially on high reach point and allows producing better images, videos and 3D model and also facilitating site engineer to monitor works in progress. The Micro UAV was flown around the building construction according to the Ground Control Points (GCPs) to capture images and record videos. The images taken .from Micro UAV have been processed to generate 3D model and were analysed to visualize the building construction as well as monitoring the construction progress work and provides immediate reliable data for project estimation. It has been proven that by using Micro UAV, better images and videos can give a better overview of the construction site and monitor any defects on high reach point building structures. Not to be forgotten, with Micro UAV the construction site progress is more efficiently tracked and kept on the schedule.


Micro UAVs, Drones, BIM, Construction, Progress, Project.

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Drones, more accurately described in a business context as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). UAVs can take different forms, with different levels of controls and the capacity to carry a very wide range of payloads. There are many types supporting different uses, but they are also subject to different regulations, depending on whether the aircraft is in or beyond the field of vision. They are built with intelligent stabilization systems to keep them flying and can carry sensors to perform dedicated functions. One of the most common devices is a camera mounted on gimbals to obtain high-quality video and still photography. However, depending on their lift capacity and payload specifications, UAVs can also carry multiple sensors to extract a wide range of information, increasing the number of possible applications and the business value of their outcomes. Drones are available with combustion engines or electro engines and fixed or rotary wing. The electro drones are easy to control but the operational duration is clearly shorter. Drones can be equipped with several generic sensors. Some have additional on-board data storage capabilities for enhanced data collection tasks.

Sensors types:

  • High definition camera (Geo-referenced image, 3D image, video streaming)
  • RFID reader (passive, active RFID system)
  • GPS unit (navigation)
  • Wireless network (Wi-Fi communication)
  • Other (infrared, RADAR system, ultrasound, laser scanner)

Various forms of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) often referred to as drones, have been used in the US since the Civil War. UAVs are aircraft without an onboard pilot including the ground based, or operator, equipment as well as the data link connecting the two. The term drone, more specifically, refers to the aircraft itself and also includes equipment operated independent of human control (Grayson, 2015). Initial uses for UAVs were primarily aimed at military purposes, and military research has been a major driver for advancing UAV technology. The wide use of transistors in the 1960’s allowed electronic equipment to shrink in size, and the civilian hobby of radio-controlled aircraft began to develop in parallel to military UAV advances.

Today, a boom of UAV use is being seen across many industries as the technology has reached a maturity level that makes it both user-friendly and inexpensive (Joyce, 2015). Innovators are discovering a multitude of uses for UAVs. Advances in cameras, sensing, aeronautics, and navigation technologies have helped make UAVs affordable, reliable and easy to operate. Small multi-propeller helicopters (called quadcopters) can be equipped with almost any sensing technology (Snider & Welch, 2015). In the United States, UAVs can qualify as model aircraft if the operator adheres to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) model-aircraft guidelines and the operation is “purely for recreational or hobby purposes. However, commercial applications for UAVs in the U.S. require an exemption from the FAA known as a Section 333 Exemption (Perlman, 2015).

Industrial applications for UAVs are the second most popular category. Some of these applications include inspection of critical linear infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines or electrical transmission lines (Miller, 2015), inspection of wind turbine blades by UAVs with higher-resolution imaging (compared to the traditional method of scaling the masts or using binoculars to conduct inspections) (NAW Staff, 2015). The real estate industry has begun to take advantage of UAVs to conduct aerial surveys and mapping of planned developments or to document transactions (Naylor, 2015). Though not the greatest number of exemptions, precision agriculture applications are becoming a valuable tool for 21st Century farms. UAVs are being used to determine whether crops need to be watered and when and where to apply fertilizer in order to increase crop yields and decrease farming expenses (Naylor, 2015).

The construction industry has not been immune to the popular draw of UAVs. Construction companies have primarily been using UAVs to provide real-time reconnaissance of their jobsites and to provide high-definition (HD) video and still images for publicity and documentation of progress Schriener &* Doherty, 2015). These uses are only scratching the surface of the possibilities of UAV applications in the construction industry, and the coming years are sure to see expanding innovations Perlman (2015).

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Monitoring Of Project Progress Using Drones. (2019, Jul 30). Retrieved from