How Using Drones For Surveying Actually Improves Data Accuracy

land surveying technologyLike any other business, the oil and gas industry is constantly benefiting from new technological developments that can revolutionize the way operations are conducted. A recent example of a new development that could lead to big things for the industry can be found in the field of land surveying technology.

New unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, could go on to provide the ability for oil and gas companies to gain a much more detailed and accurate look at the land they will be using for their projects. Although this new land surveying technology is still being adopted, the possibilities offered by using drones for surveying promise that they warrant a closer look.

Benefits of UAVs Over Traditional Land Surveying Techniques

Drones used for land surveying offer many different advantages over traditional land surveying techniques, which require surveyors to go from place to place to conduct their work. Since this kind of old-fashioned survey work often has to take place in dangerous or difficult terrain, using UAVs instead can lead to land surveys that are much quicker and much less likely to put workers in harm’s way.

However, the most exciting advantage offered by using drones for surveying may perhaps be the increased accuracy it offers. Over recent years, developments in high-resolution camera technology, along with greater battery life and increased levels of control for the UAVs themselves, has finally made it practical to use UAVs to conduct high-resolution photography work from above.

Unlike earthbound land surveyors, these UAVs are able to conduct their work without interference from the land around them, meaning that they can get as close to the terrain as needed in order to get the images required for the project. They are also less likely to have to worry about time constraints, as they can stay in an area conducting a survey for as long as the battery life of the device allows.

As a result, UAVs are able to create highly accurate land surveys that are capable of meeting the needs of all oil and gas projects.

Why UAVs Offer Better Results When Used With LiDAR

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology has become the latest word in terrain scanning over the last couple of years. With LiDAR, land surveyors use thousands of tiny sensors that bounce light points off the terrain, and then collect the result of the sensors into a data cloud that forms an extremely detailed and accurate representation of the land in question.

Pairing this new land surveying technology with an aerial vehicle is perhaps one of the best ways to maximize the quality of the results. However, up until now, the majority of the LiDAR work done from the air has been performed by manned aerial vehicles, which are unable to provide the quality of results that UAVs can. For one thing, manned vehicles have to conduct LiDAR from much higher in the air, which increases the likelihood that atmospheric conditions will interfere with the results of the scan.

On the other hand, drones used for land surveying are able to get as close to land as needed to conduct high-quality, accurate LiDAR scans, and as a result, are able to avoid any issues related to atmospheric interference.

While there are still several hurdles that need to be cleared before UAVs can find widespread use in land surveying applications, the potential for better, more accurate surveying already provides a lot to get excited about. As this land surveying technology continues to develop and grow more sophisticated, the possibilities will only continue to grow with it.

To learn more about using drones for surveying, request a free land surveying quote today.

Image Source : Adam Meek

Ways to Improve Pipeline Route Selection in the Permian Basin

pipeline routingThe recent boom in oil production in the Permian Basin has created a bottleneck situation,where the pipelines that are currently in place are not capable of moving crude to refinery locations fast enough to keep pace with the level of production. While the rate of production has increased significantly over the last couple of years, the infrastructure in place to move that oil has not increased at a similar rate, creating a situation where refiners have to pay an additional premium to acquire crude. This is especially costly with volatile oil prices.

Clearly, there is a need for more pipelines to service the region; the issue is that the pipeline infrastructure in the Permian Basin is already quite significant, in spite of the fact that it can’t keep up with the current level of demand. This fact means that pipeline right of ways in the region are already very congested, making it a real challenge to find efficient routes to lay new pipelines. An experienced land surveying company can help oil and gas companies overcome the challenges that are currently facing them in the Permian Basin by finding an efficient route that does not overlap with existing routings.

4 Ways Land Surveyors Can Help With Pipeline Route Selection In the Permian Basin

1. Identifying the Most Efficient Routing Possible For the Pipeline

It the past, developing pipeline routings depended on topographical maps. These maps were frequently incorrect and offered very little detail, but were usually good enough to get the job done.

Now, in an era where the Permian Basin is already crowded with pipelines, “good enough” no longer gets the job done. Luckily, land surveyors have developed new technologies to help overcome the current challenges facing oil and gas companies. With GIS mapping tools, land surveyors can help their oil and gas clients get a more detailed pipeline route survey than a traditional topographical map could ever offer, allowing them to identify potential issues such as terrain change and chasms.

2. Increasing Accuracy and Completeness of Information

Simply put, if you’re considering a pipeline routing project in the Permian Basin, you can’t afford to enter the game with anything less than the most complete, accurate information possible. Anything you don’t know coming into the project could come back to haunt you later on in the form of higher costs and unexpected delays.

A land surveyor can provide you with all of the studies and analyses needed to make sure your pipeline project progresses according to plan.

3. Performing Environmental and Cost Analyses

Knowing how much a pipeline will cost to build depends on a wide variety of variables, and failing to account for any one of these variables could result in unpleasant surprises down the line.

A land surveyor can help oil and gas companies account for all costs involved with a pipeline routing, and suggest alternate routes that may be more efficient uses of resources. They can also help identify environmental hazards that might lead to higher-than-expected costs.

4. Identifying Potential Legal Issues with a Proposed Routing

When it comes to a pipeline route survey, what you don’t know definitely can hurt you. A land surveyor can help oil and gas companies research legal issues such as land status, right of ways, and easements.

As a result, the company can gather all of the information they would need to feel confident about moving forward with a proposed routing, knowing that they don’t have to worry about legal challenges in the future. This is a particularly beneficial service in a very crowded region such as the Permian Basin.

To learn how Landpoint can help with your Permian Basin pipeline development project, get a free land surveying quote today.

Image Source : U.S. Geological Survey