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Drones have revolutionized inspection and mapping in the construction, engineering, and other sectors. They can access hard-to-reach places in buildings and installations, supply cost-effective imagery, help assess roofing condition thanks to infrared technology, etc.

There are plenty of technologies for automatically mapping horizontal areas by drones, whether it’s stereographic mapping or software that automates the processing of drone-based imagery into photogrammetric products. However, vertical scanning is still a challenge.

A new automatic vertical scanning technology has been developed recently by Latvia-based SPH Engineering. The tool provides pilots with a completely new way to automatically create accurate 3D models of buildings or cultural heritage objects, find heat leaks or damage to walls, examine open quarries, etc.

The company previously developed the Universal Ground Control Software (UgCS), a complete platform to plan and fly drone survey missions. The software works for various types of missions, such as standard land surveying photogrammetry, magnetic and other low altitude mission planning, PV Solar Panel and Powerline inspections, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys, and more.

The UgCS supports most UAVs, including DJI drones, and is MAVLink compatible.

With the launch of a new software update, the company introduced what they call the “automatic Facade Scan tool” for drone inspection mission planning for the construction, engineering and mining industries.

Similar to horizontal mapping missions, the Facade tool allows pilots to draw a vertical plane over the desired area just as easily. Then, pilots need to specify the distance to the area in question, as well as side and forward overlap, for the software to automatically calculate the optimal flying path and perform the mission, according to expouav.com.

The software supports the import of 3D objects and custom DEM data using the terrain-following function.