Flight has helped us more than just in terms of being convenient for traveling. Planes are used for everything from aerial surveillance to transporting goods. However, there are other uses for airplanes as well, such as their use in aerial surveys, which can be used in fishery or land surveys, monitoring an environment for wildlife, insects, and vegetation, as well as playing a role in hydrocarbon exploration or geophysics. It can significantly help get accurate results for environmental engineering, monitor water quality in certain areas, and provide accurate, quick results, as well as a different perspective. And, aerial surveys can also spot things that would be hard to see from the ground, making it a useful tool for those who want a holistic picture. Let’s discuss aerial surveys more in depth, as well as some of its top functions.
Tell me More About Aerial Surveys
Aerial survey is a way to get geographic or spatially reference information by using air power. Planes are often used to collect this information, but helicopters and balloons are also commonly used. Data is usually collected in the forms of aerial photography, remote sensing, which uses electromagnetic waves, light detection and ranging, as well as magnetic or gravitational surveys. Geographical surveyors may also make actual maps or charts from their aerial view.
Aerial surveys are often more useful in some cases that satellite imagery, because the surveyors are closer to the ground, providing a better resolution and quality overall in the data, though both of course, have their uses.
What Are Aerial Surveys Often Used For?
Construction or real estate firms may often use aerial surveys when thinking about land development of an area. It’s extremely useful when planning out transportation routes, like highways or waterways, and finding the right land to build on. You can see any obvious obstacles — like a body of water or property boundaries — much faster with an aerial survey, and can see at a glance the layout and terrain of the land you’ll be working with.
Aerial surveys may also be used to map out the damage caused by a natural disaster. If a town or city is planning on rebuilding, an aerial survey can show them the extent of the damage, what areas might still be affected and need special attention, and where it might not be safe to build again.
These surveys can also be helpful when dealing with environmental issues, such as water quality. Given that water quality reports show almost half of streams and lakes, and over 30% of bays in the United States are polluted, and our use of pesticides (over two billion pounds a year), this is something that many environmentalists are watching closely. We should also be paying attention, as it affects our drinking water and ultimately, our health. With aerial surveys, it’s easier to monitor and survey the water quality of an area and provides concrete evidence that action needs to be taken.
How Can One Become an Aerial Surveyor?
For those who are uneasy actually piloting a plane, rest assured. Your hands — and attention — will be needed to do the actual surveying. In most cases, a pilot will go up with you. Generally, a bachelor’s degree is the minimum required, but you should focus on geomatics or aerial surveying engineering technology. This coursework might also help you get the experience you need to land a job as an aerial survey technician.
Completing certifications in the type of technology used to complete these surveys is also helpful, and you’ll need to complete at least two years of supervised work before striking off on your own. Again, enrolling in a program can help you achieve that practical aspect easily, even as it teaches you the academic side of aerial surveying.
Take to the skies and lend your eyes to aid in important work. Aerial surveys are used in a variety of ways and your employment opportunities could be fairly limitless, especially as more unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) are becoming used in surveys.