How to Integrate a Drone During Dock Construction

The development of the aviation and construction industries have become closely related over the years. A primary reason has been the need to upgrade the nation’s airports. Many of the underlying systems that developed alongside modern aviation have also supported drone applications.

Inefficiency in the Construction Industry

Digital and flight systems are seeing increasing use. The construction industry is one of the most affected. Much of this is due to inefficiency within the industry. The sheer magnitude of the construction industry at $8.5 trillion is staggering to think about.

Inefficiencies within such a system become lucrative for any technology that can improve upon results. McKinsey and Company reported that about 20% of construction projects do not finish on time. Additionally, 80% are over budget. Drones have a direct benefit for planning, oversight, support during implementation, and progress reports.

Virtually Limitless Applications

Where drones really shine is through increased automation. There is more to remote-controlled aircraft than is initially apparent. Digital systems that allow for safe flight operations also can be leveraged for virtually limitless applications.

The Next Generation Air Transportation System focuses on GPS based navigation. This allows for high-performance three-dimensional applications. For instance, drones have been measuring distances as accurately as within an inch for years now.

Specific to Dock Construction

Waterways Journal cited several key benefits of drone use. One of the most obvious is that they are much cheaper than helicopters. This does not even scratch the surface of their potential applications.

Surveying and imaging clearly demonstrate the potential of this technology. Drones enable planners to obtain closer and better views. The stability and usefulness of drone imaging is unparalleled. It’s sometimes even possible to get underneath a dock to provide a more complete assessment. Using drones to detail the progress of new construction projects is among the emerging applications to remain aware of.

The Future of Drone Applications

The applications of drones have already dramatically impacted our world. In fact, Goldman Sachs places the present value of drone applications at $100 billion. This already is quite substantial, especially for a technology that isn’t often in the public eye. What’s really amazing is that the same Goldman Sachs report anticipates that drone usage will be valued at multiple times that, even over just the next five years. Morgan Stanley (as reported by DroneDJ) has stated that by 2040 the value of drones should be around $1.5 trillion.

Smart Brief looked at how the underlying technology of drones will fundamentally change. There is a trend toward automation. It’s about more than just programming redundant paths for drones to follow. While this can greatly improve things like surveying, it is again merely scratching the surface of the potential for this technology.

Inescapable Association of Drones and Digital Systems

Drones and digital systems should be considered synonymous. Innovation is one area that should coincide with a similar (or supporting) advancement. For the time being, the discovery curve for drone associated technologies will likely remain exponential. Digital systems are the reason why drones should not be looked at merely for their flight capabilities. Automated flight paths must be viewed in association with digital automation.

Construction Projects and Emerging Drone Applications

For the construction professional, the novelty of aerial data on hand has evolved to something much more fascinating. Drones should be at least partly viewed as a system. Whether an independent device or a group of drones, their use has grown past that of mere recording. Programs that respond to multifaceted plans, as well as the living environment, should be the focus of any long-term developer.

Dock-specific Applications

Multifaceted drone applications are particularly advantageous for construction related to docks. After all, few projects encounter as much variability as those involved in development and maintenance near marine environments.

Integrating Drones for Dock Construction

The integration of drones for construction projects should begin during the planning stages. It’s important to fully grasp the performance and limitations of both the physical drone (or drones) and their data systems.

Wind patterns and responsiveness can make a significant difference when calculations need to be precise. Similarly, the emerging potential of a data system that automates, coordinates, and governs drones should be ascertained prior to beginning a project.

Efficiency is what has attracted industries to extensively employ drones. There are profound advantages of being fully prepared for drone applications in the marine environment. Ensuring that drones implementation is most effective for a project is also about preparation. Performance capabilities can be exciting but need to be weighed for the job at hand. The relation between data systems and physical drones need to be well understood during the planning stages as well.

Final Thoughts

While drone technology has been around for decades, it has only been recently that they have really found a niche in the economy. It’s important to understand that drone applications are as dependent on the innovations that occur in information systems as they are on the mechanics of flight. Automation and programmability often underlie what seems to be the magic behind drone productivity.

The construction industry has outpaced virtually every other drone use case that is not directly related to the aviation industry. It’s expected to continue to grow in usage. A key driver will be improving upon efficiency and waste in the industry. Docks are among the more complex project areas. It’s the complex construction process that makes digital systems for drones so important.

These advancements will undoubtedly advance dock construction jobs faster than most other areas. There’s a word of caution though that drone technology should not be perceived as application-specific tools. Rather, drone systems are a broad technology that is best considered for their adaptability. While this may require a bit more work from project managers during the planning stages, it does offer greater assurance of success when unknown variables are considered. It also coincides with leveraging the best available drone technology.

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