Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to already have a drone in order to work with Aerotas?
No! We can set your drone program up from zero, providing you with the drone that our testing has proven provides the best accuracy, reliability, and ease of use for the lowest cost. We’ll even set it up, register it with the FAA, and then train you on our Standard Operating Procedures for doing high-accuracy surveying using the drone.
Is the linework and data you provide compatible with my field equipment and CAD software?
Yes. You have several options of what format we provide the data to you in, so that no matter what, it will work with what you have. In the field, the drone itself does not need to connect to your survey equipment (RTK base station, VRS network, etc.) -- we instead use ground control to correct the ortho and 3D model. The CAD linework data we provide you can be a dxf, dwg, csv, or txt file.
What survey finish CAD software is your linework compatible with?
We have yet to come across a survey finish software our linework is not compatible with. We have clients successfully using our linework with Carlson, Civil3D, AutoCAD (from every year), Trimble Business Center, and more.
What drone is included in the drone program setup for $9,200?
We have no formal affiliation that forces us to sell drones from any particular drone manufacturer. This allows us to continually test and vet everything that’s available, in order to determine which is the best option for our customers. When evaluating a drone, we focus on accuracy, reliability, and price, to ensure that the drone we provide our customers delivers the highest possible ROI (return on investment). The drone that we have found is currently best is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, when set up correctly and used with correct Standard Operating Procedures.
What if I already have a drone? Can I still use your photogrammetry or linework service?
Yes. Our drone-focused photo-stitching and line-work services are not proprietary to the drone we provide. In order to make sure we can work with your drone’s data, we will want to do a free data audit. When you contact us, our Account Executives will walk you through this process.
If I get a drone and training from Aerotas, do I have to use your data processing service?
No. While we think you will be happy with our drone photogrammetry and CAD linework service, you are under no obligation. We can set up your drone program, and then you’re welcome to use another provider to do the data processing, or do it yourself.
How do I know if my drone or Standard Operating Procedures are good enough?
There is a lot that goes into using a drone right -- to get the highest accuracy data possible, while still being efficient and as safe as possible. Contact us and our Account Executives will be happy to consult with you to understand what your current drone surveying SOPs consist of. We are also happy to do a free audit of one of your projects, which will allow us to make recommendations for how to improve your SOPs.
Who actually does the photogrammetry and linework? Do you outsource it overseas?
All of our data processing is done in our office in Costa Mesa, California. We have a team of highly-trained technicians with backgrounds in engineering and land surveying managing the photogrammetry and CAD linework processing. The team is overseen by hands-on managers with ASPRS Certifications at the levels of Mapping Scientist and Technologist. The team uses a thorough process of peer-review to ensure QA and QC are of the highest quality.
How do I know the accuracy of the drone or your data processing service is good enough?
Our recommendation is always to ground-truth. On every project, take at least some check-shots on the site using your conventional survey equipment, and use that to check our photogrammetry or linework against. If you want to be more thorough and scientific, the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing provides an easy to follow set of Positional Accuracy Standards for calculating the statistical accuracy across an entire project site. Contact us and one of our Account Executives will be happy to walk you through the process.
What exactly do I get back when I use your linework service?
Our deliverable to you is complete project linework as a widely CAD-compatible DXF file (other file types available upon request) and CAD-compatible orthophoto. Feature layers available include: topographic elevation points, breaklines, roads & railways, building drip lines, concrete & pavement edges, water features & water edges, fences & walls, paint striping, utility access panels, utility poles, and curb lines (2, 3, or 4 lines). This DXF file is compatible with Carlson, Civil3D, AutoCAD, Trimble Business Center, and most other CADD softwares. We can also provide the full-resolution 3D mesh model for extracting any custom data that you might need.
How do I get a quote for photogrammetry and linework on one of my projects?
All you need to do is contact us and one of our Account Executives will collect the information we need to provide you a quote within a matter of minutes.
What is your turnaround time for photogrammetry and linework?
When you upload a project to us, we will let you know a firm delivery date. Often, photogrammetry is done within a couple of days (including all hands-on QA and QC), and linework is done within a week or two.