West Calder has Aura in the Air

Aura recently had the honour of delivering a presentation to Team Leaders and Directors of Scotland’s leading contractor, Morrison Construction to mark the handover of our Aerial Survey of the West Calder High School site.


Our presentation summarised how we delivered the project from survey perparation (including communication with local residents) to building the model from data captured by our DJI S1000+ UAV Octocopter.


West Calder High School Site survey

As our DJI S1000 - armed with its 4k Panasonic GH4 - autonomously took to the skies to survey the 52,000 sqm site in West Calder, we talked representatives of Morrison Construction, West Lothian Council, and Archial Norr Architects through the process of Aerial Survey:


“We combine data captured by the UAV with GPS data collected using Trimble GNSS Survey equipment to effectively complete a topographical survey entirely from the air. The process reduces a survey that would ordinarlily weeks of site time to one that can be completed in less than a day. Few companies are currently able to combine in-house aerial imagery with topographical GPS data which means that Aura is currently at the forefront of the aerial survey revolution.”


West Calder High School Site Aerial Survey Inspection

Our words weren’t uttered just to impress either; aerial survey is fast becoming the most effective means to survey large or complex sites. The technology really does mean that a few weeks onsite can be reduced to a single day. This is without considering the fact that substantially more data points (millions) will be collected in a few short minutes - more individual data points than many months of Total Station survey could amass!

advantages of aerial survey

The efficiency of the technology was demonstrated on the morning of the survey; we spent just over two hours on site, with most of the time being spent waiting on weather and fending off midges. When the skies parted to give us a brief glimpse of the sun, we programmed a flight path over the survey area and, once in flight, the Octocopter snapped a total of 573 ultra-high resolution images before returning back to the point from which it took off!

aerial survey images

Back in the office we gathered the aerial imagery and combined it with GPS control points collected at ground level using our Trimble R8 Rover. Some careful inputting and data processing meant that we had generated a complete 3D model of the site within a few days. Final data point count: over 200million!

aerial survey modelling image
Aura Survey Morrison Construction logos

The model has since been submitted to world-class architectural practice Archial Norr who are working with Autodesk 3DS Max to turn it into stunning visuals for the West Calder High School construction project. We will be sure to add these to the next blog in the series.
A case study of the project to date can be downloaded by clicking here.

aerial survey edinburgh scotland modelling