October, 2016

SUAVE SiteSeer    October, 2016

Welcome to the October 2016 edition of our e-bulletin, SiteSeer.

Video ThumbIn this edition, you’ll find details of some of our recent projects using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to undertake building inspections and site surveys, and to secure high quality video recordings in a variety of challenging environments.

The aerial photography market is changing quickly. New technologies are coming to the fore, and clients are becoming ever more aware of the potential applications of UAVs. People are recognising that they can often capture data more cost-effectively, more quickly and with fewer risks than traditional manual inspection and recording processes.

As one of the UK’s best and longest established UAV specialists, we’re witnessing an increasing trend towards specialisation. The advent of cheaper low-and mid-range UAV systems is turning some simple aerial photography projects into something of a commodity market. However, there is a growing requirement for more technically demanding shoots and it’s at this end of the spectrum that SUAVE is increasingly operating.

In this issue, we’ll take look at some schemes that illustrate this. In Trafford, for example, we recently undertook a difficult and demanding project for one of our marketing agency clients, flying UAVs both above and inside a giant warehouse in order to secure footage for a high quality video production. Also during the summer, we visited Castleford, where we undertook a high resolution photographic survey of a site currently being investigated by L – P  : Archaeology.

More generally, UAVs are becoming a mainstream tool for structural and roof inspections, and clients across a broad cross section of industries are seeing exciting crossovers between the fields of video production, marketing and UAVs. We’ve therefore been developing our portfolio and now offer a full, broadcast -quality video production facility.

Whether your interest is photography, video, photogrammetry, building information management (BIM) or 3D computer modelling, we’ll always stand ready to help. To find out what we can do for you, please contact us on 07842 766679.


Contents

Canterbury Thumb Momentus Thumb Jacksons Thumb Castleford Thumb

Structural Survey: Canterbury Cathedral
Downland Partnership

Aerial Video: 250,000 sq ft Warehouse, Trafford Park
Momentus Consulting Group

Progress Photos: Jackson’s Edge, Cheshire
JN Bentley for United Utilities

Archaeology: Five Towns Park, Castleford
L – P : Archaeology

New Aerial Video Capabilities

Other News in Brief

 


 

Structural Survey: Canterbury Cathedral

Downland Partnership

Founded in 597 and rebuilt in 1077, Canterbury Cathedral is one of Britain’s oldest and best known ecclesiastical buildings. It is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was the site of Thomas Becket’s murder, and it features in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. By any standards, the Cathedral is exceptionally rich in history and, indeed, it is part of a recognised World Heritage site.

Maintaining such a venerable building is an important and challenging role that is performed by a mix of commercial specialists, artists and craftspeople. Recently involved in its upkeep was one of our regular clients, The Downland Partnership. The company is a surveying specialist with an outstanding record of measuring and recording historic buildings, and producing high quality engineering drawings. In this case, it was required to conduct a detailed structural survey in preparation for restoration work on the towers to either side of the main entrance on the western side.

Recognising that the safest and most cost effective approach would be an aerial photographic survey, it commissioned SUAVE to undertake the necessary work. We duly produced a detailed, high resolution record of the upper levels, and the client was able to use these to assess and prioritise the need for repairs.

 


 

Aerial Video: 250,000 sq ft Warehouse, Trafford Park

Momentus Consulting Group

Momenutus ThumbMomentus Consulting Group is a full-service integrated marketing agency with a division that specialises in supporting clients in the logistics and industrial sectors. Earlier in the summer, it contacted SUAVE in connection with a video it wished to produce, featuring a newly completed 250,000 sq ft warehouse in Trafford Park. Developed by IPIF & Peel Logistics, the building has been leased to logistics provider XPO as a distribution centre for the Missguided women’s fashion brand.

Our role in the project was to secure high quality video footage – not only from the usual outdoor aerial perspectives, but also from inside the warehouse itself. Flying a UAV indoors – in a relatively confined space and without the benefit of GPS-assistance – clearly required careful planning, keen safety awareness and, of course, exceptional piloting capabilities. We therefore began by making a careful study of the interior, noting the lighting systems, cables and other potential hazards, and then planning the shoot accordingly.

For this project, we used a two-operator team – one to fly the UAV and one to operate an independently controllable camera. Most importantly, this kept the pilot free to concentrate entirely on flying safely, but it also enabled us to secure professional quality sequences that made use of smooth panning and tilting shots.

We took the resulting video and intercut it with our outdoor aerial sequences, together with some of the client’s own time-lapse footage that showed the various stages of the warehouse construction work. The final production was very impressive and was ultimately presented as a gift to IPIF & Peel Logistics. A copy of the video can be seen here on YouTube.

 


 

Progress Photos: Jackson’s Edge, Cheshire

JN Bentley for United Utilities

Jackson’s Edge Reservoir is a large underground storage tank that supplies water to over 40,000 customers in the Disley area of Cheshire. Originally built more than a century ago, it was recently replaced by United Utilities as part of a £15 million renewal scheme aimed at safeguarding and improving local water supplies.

After community consultation, the work proceeded in five phases so as to ensure continuity of supply. The two-year project began in 2014. When complete, the new tank will store up to 18 million litres of treated water, which United Utilities notes “is enough to fill more than eight Olympic-sized swimming pools or 200,000 baths.”

Working on behalf of civil engineering and construction contractor, JN Bentley, SUAVE visited the site at monthly intervals from July 2014, recording progress so the client would have an accurate record of works on site. It also recorded progress on the route of the water pipeline from the reservoir to the canal.

“The progress photos are very helpful,” said JN Bentley’s site manager, Mike Wilson. “We use them in the site office to plan and direct operations, and to give clear instructions to our operatives. They’re a useful operational resource for us, and they’re useful to the client, too. United Utilities has used the aerial photographs in a number of ways, such as illustrating community liaison literature that’s designed to explain the nature and scope of the works.”

 


 

Archaeology: Five Towns Park, Castleford

L – P : Archaeology

L – P : Archaeology is one of the top archaeological practices in the UK. In May and June of this year, it was asked to conduct an archaeological evaluation at Five Towns Park, Castleford, where Roman remains had been discovered.

As part of the dig, which initially required over a hundred trenches, the client asked SUAVE to carry out an aerial photographic survey. This would provide a useful record, as well as high resolution images that would help site managers to plan their excavations.

SUAVE duly carried out the survey and selected images can be found here in the SUAVE gallery.

In the course of the evaluation work, archaeologists became excited by some unusual finds, including the remains of corn driers, which suggested agricultural activity on the site. The dig was therefore extended into the autumn to allow further investigations. These provided further information about Romano-British activities on the site, and included the discovery of a nearby Roman site.

 


 

New Aerial Video Capabilities

Video is becoming such an important element of the aerial photography sector that we have been steadily developing our capabilities in recent years.

We’ve long been using video in the tourism and heritage sectors, and as part of clients’ marketing projects. Now, however, customers are asking for an ever-widening variety of video capabilities and so we’ve established a new, tiered range of services.

To suit the most modest budgets, we offer an ‘entry level’ package which requires just a single pilot and a UAV with a front-facing camera. This secures high definition footage and it’s a great choice for conventional site surveys, progress recording and certain, simple building inspection surveys. Video can be relayed down to the ground station, where operator and client can examine footage and decide in real time how and where to direct the camera.

For more challenging projects, our mid-range service entails the use of two staff – one pilot and one camera operator – and a UAV with an independently controllable camera. (This is the kind of format we used in the indoor warehouse project described earlier.) We then edit the resulting footage using our own professional-quality video software and supply the video in its finished form.

Finally, for the most demanding projects, where the client requires a video of the very highest standards, we offer a comprehensive solution. Here, we take responsibility for every element of the process. In addition to securing the footage itself, we’ll hire whatever additional expertise is necessary: professional producers, directors, voice-over artists and editors, as well as handling the music and other third-party content.

Heli ThumbWe can also work with other skilled staff such as CGI specialists. We did this very recently on a project involving an NHS site in Greater Manchester. Here, a hospital helipad was due to be built over an existing car park and the architectural team wanted to illustrate how the completed scheme would look. Rather than simply produce a fixed ‘artist’s impression’ image, it commissioned SUAVE to take aerial video footage of the existing car park. A CGI team then digitally superimposed the helipad, compete with a flying helicopter, to produce a wholly convincing rendering of the finished job. To see the finished video, click here.

If you’d like to discuss a potential video project, please get in touch.

 


 

Other News in Brief

Video ThumbStructural surveys are becoming an increasingly important part of our work. To showcase our capabilities in this field, we have launched a new video. It shows our work on everything from ancient monuments to football stadiums.

That’s it for the current edition, but look out for our next issue, in which we’ll be talking – amongst other things – about a high resolution topographical survey for United Utilities. Here, our work involves 3D modelling of a site which is being excavated as part of a large-scale water infrastructure project. In the same issue, we’ll also be giving our reactions to the third annual Commercial UAV Show (October 2016, London), where we’ve been keeping abreast of the latest technical developments in the industry.

 


 

Further Information:

For details of all our latest structural survey, construction, video, heritage, and archaeological projects, please visit our online gallery. If you have any questions or if you’d like to discuss a project of your own, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please call us on 07842 766 679 or email me at Greg@SUAVEAirPhotos.co.uk.

P.S. Please feel free to forward a link to this page to your friends and colleagues!

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