Capturing the outback with the latest drone technology

Capturing the outback with the latest drone technology


Set amongst a rugged yet vibrant rural landscape in the outback town of Longreach on the Tropic of Capricorn is Australia’s premier outback heritage institution: The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame (ASHoF). The construction was established as a grand tribute to Australia’s unsung heroes – explorers, stock workers, pastoralists and Aborigines of remote Australia.

With the passing of three decades since Queen Elizabeth II opened the outback museum in 1988, it was due time for comprehensive updating of the facilities and exhibition spaces. That is where we swooped in with our newly acquired drone technology to undertake a precise detail survey over the entire site, including 3D scanning of the interior of the museum, galleries and arena.

Our latest drone, one of only two in Australia, is the Riegl MiniVUX LiDAR Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). The precision measuring and satellite technology onboard the unit enables rich quality data with maximum penetration through vegetation and the ability to capture up to 50ha in a single 20-minute flight, to an accuracy of 50mm.

As a previous survey already existed, the initial scope of work involved a smaller area of the site. However, due to the obvious capabilities and efficiency of the MiniVUX drone to capture all site surfaces, a full detail survey was soon commissioned. This ensured complete confidence in knowing of any changes or modifications to the area since the last survey prior to planning new works and upgrades.

Capturing the outback with the latest drone technology

The entrance to ASHoF (left) and a point-cloud image of the same area (right). 

A conventional Survey was undertaken to observe cadastral marks, services and hard surfaces such as pavement, kerbs and concrete where higher accuracies are required.

Aerial Laser Scanning with the MiniVUX drone captured the entire site giving a complete picture of the surface and structures including roofs.

Terrestrial Laser Scanning used the survey-grade Lecia P40 to capture the inside and outside of the buildings on site where high level of detail was crucial.

Panoramic Imagery in HDR was captured from each scan location which enabled the client access to the full visualisation of the site.

The scans were captured in full colour and produced an impressive detail-rich point cloud, utilised to prepare the conventional detail survey over the entire site and initially used by our client to prepare a Revit model of the buildings.

To discuss how our specialist spatial, survey and drone services could benefit your project, contact us – call (07) 5631 8000 or send an online enquiry.

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