Drones Help Civil Engineers Enhance Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans

HHNT Engineering improves on-site productivity up to 50% and provides clients with accurate aerial insights using DroneDeploy

Apr 13, 2018 · 5 min read

“With DroneDeploy, we went from zero to 100. We were able to go from something somebody could have created, honestly, a hundred years ago, to something you couldn’t have created two years ago.” — Daniel Windham, HHNT Engineers

Mike Crossin, Chief Pilot (left), and Daniel Windham (right), Environmental Scientist, head up the in-house drone program at HHNT Consulting Engineers.

Drones Help Create High-Resolution, Location-Specific Visual Aids

Every landfill and transfer station must have an up-to-date Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan in place to meet regulatory requirements. The plans, designed by environmental engineers, address everything from the path stormwater travels on a landfill site to the cleanup process if an incident occurs.

An example of the previous basic, black-and-white visual aids used before adopting drone maps. This could be time consuming.

“Before drones, we were working with black and white, not-to-scale field maps in AutoCAD. These lacked the aerial imagery and details provide by drones, which made it difficult for multiple operators to quickly determine their locations and seek out areas of importance.” — Daniel Windham, HHNT Engineering

Now, with drone maps, the HHNT team can add annotations onto accurate, up-to-date aerial imagery. Explore the full orthomosaic map.
With DroneDeploy it’s simple for HHNT Engineers to overlay CAD drawings (left) onto drone maps (right) and deliver accurate, high-quality visual aids to their clients with real-time aerial imagery.

DroneDeploy Increases Efficiencies and Improves the Accuracy of Stormwater Plans

As the HHNT team discovered, the benefits of drone maps go far beyond the pretty pictures. They leveraged DroneDeploy’s cloud-based platform and app market to increase efficiency, collaboration, and accuracy at every step of the process.

Increased Efficiency

Daniel and Mike mapped 50 transfer stations and hauling companies across two states with drones. Their record was eighteen sites in three days. That is 50% faster than with the previous workflow. Daniel credits their efficiency to DroneDeploy’s built-in flight planning and cloud-based platform. He set up the flight plans ahead of time, so when Mike arrived on site, he was ready to fly. From back at the office, Daniel could access the map and share it with engineers in less than 48 hours.

Mike Crossin gets ready to launch his DJI Inspire 1. For smaller sites, he uses a DJI Phantom 4 Pro for its portability and maneuverability.

Real-time Collaboration

Because they worked within DroneDeploy’s cloud-based platform, the team could collaborate in real time. If Mike arrived at a site and noticed unexpected construction or site changes, he could easily share these changes with the team back at the office. Likewise, Daniel was able to share and collaborate with the engineering team in real time through the DroneDeploy platform.

Improved Accuracy

But the most significant return on investment for HHNT was the increased accuracy of the final Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans.

Where to Learn More

Get Started with DroneDeploy

Visit www.dronedeploy.com to start your free trial or request a consultation with one of our team members. The DroneDeploy mobile application is available for free download for both iOS and Android devices.

DroneDeploy's Blog

DroneDeploy is the leading cloud software platform for commercial drones. Learn more at www.dronedeploy.com


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DroneDeploy is the leading cloud software platform for commercial drones.

DroneDeploy's Blog

DroneDeploy is the leading cloud software platform for commercial drones. Learn more at www.dronedeploy.com