Cyberhawk featured in Wind Energy Network magazine

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Cyberhawk featured in Wind Energy Network magazine

03 Feb 2014

Cyberhawk have been featured in Wind Energy Network magazine showcasing a recent project completed for one of the UK’s leading wind farm developers:

Specialist aerial inspection and land survey company Cyberhawk has been working with wind farm developers to survey sites more quickly and more safely than traditional survey methods. Cyberhawk is the first company in the UK to offer professional land surveying services using a combination of fixed-wing and multi-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), operated by its accredited pilots under the direction of its qualified and experienced land surveyors.

Increased Survey Area

Cyberhawk uses UAVs to survey more than 100 hectares in a single day and acquire thousands of high-definition geo-referenced aerial photographs. The images are processed with ground control markers to provide highly detailed aerial mapping and topographic surveys (Digital Elevation Model and orthophotos – see Note 1). By contrast, a traditional land-based topographical survey might cover only 10% of the area of a UAV survey in the same timespan, but without the added benefit of high-definition images of the site. Other advantages over traditional surveying methods include dramatic cost savings, step improvement in safety, faster turnaround and improved site information to aid decision-making

Case Study

In a recent project in South-West Scotland, the wind farm developer had considered alternative survey methods such as traditional land-based surveys and manned aerial LiDAR (see Note 2) surveys, but concluded that Cyberhawk’s technique using UAVs would be the most efficient way to survey the site. Decisive factors included time saved, the reduced risk to subcontractors and the quality of data produced by the UAV methodology.

The purpose of the survey was to provide data to assist with the planning, design and construction of the site, which covered over 400 hectares of moorland and bog with limited access. Cyberhawk’s aerial survey meant risks were reduced with minimal access and time on site required by staff.

Deliverables

The deliverables from the survey were highly detailed geo-referenced orthophotos and an accurate Digital Elevation Model (DEM). In addition to the information acquired from the air, the Cyberhawk team added some ground survey information such as culvert levels using GPS equipment.

The detailed orthophotos revealed previously hidden detail, including a watercourse that was not shown on Ordnance Survey mapping and was previously unknown to the client. The combination of detailed topographic information together with vertical and oblique photography of a proposed site provides windfarm developers and the renewables industry with enhanced data to allow improved decision-making on their sites in a cost-, time- and safety-efficient way.

Note 1: An orthophoto is an aerial photo geometrically corrected so that the scale is uniform. The photo has the same lack of distortion as a map. This is different from an uncorrected aerial photograph where perspective distorts the spatial relationships between points.

Note 2: LiDAR is a detection system that works in a way that is analogous to radar, but uses laser light instead of radio waves.

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