Drone Survey of Admiral Rodney's Pillar
21 Mar 2018
Advantage Geomatics conducts drone inspection and mapping survey

Recently Advantage Geomatics were commissioned Bausdley with Criggion Community Council to conduct a Drone inspection and modelling survey of the Powys landmark, Admiral Rodney’s Pillar set a top of the Breidden Hills.

Working with our partner drone operator, Flyover Filming, we made arrangements with the Heritage and Structural engineers who the inspection was for and on the date agreed awoke to biblical weather! Thankfully the forecast held and the weather broke to a pleasant, if breezy day and the work was able to proceed.

Getting to the top involved a drive up the access road to the parking area, which sadly didn’t get us all the way, from where we had a half hour walk to the top where we received commanding views over Powys and Shropshire.

After notifying RAF Shawbury of our flight plans we set out our Ground Control Points and fixed them with GPS. After a briefing from the drone pilot, Isaac from Flyover Filming, we conducted two orbit flights around the monument and a double grid to get photographs for the modelling. Once they were completed we then began 4 individual flights up each face of the monument, under the guidance of the structural engineers on site.

The engineers had worked with drones before but were impressed with the quality of the imagery we were able to achieve. Rather than the impractical and costly option of scaffolding the drone was able to gather the required information quickly, efficiently and safely in a matter of a few hours. Based on this information the engineers were able to make their report on how best to proceed with the stabilisation of this local landmark.

The video shown below is a 3D mesh of the model that we have generated of the site, which is referenced to OS grid and datum. We were also able to generate a point cloud of the monument from which the engineers could integrate into their own drawings of the structure. Also they are able to generate sections through the monument to look for deformities and irregularities to further assist in their assessment of its integrity. All of which was gathered without the need to access the structure directly, minimising costs and exposure to risks.

Once the operation had been completed to the satisfaction of the engineers on site we called into RAF Shawbury again to inform them we were finished and packed up.