Could government agencies benefit from drones?

4 years 8 months 1 week ago Thursday, September 11 2014 Sep 11, 2014 Thursday, September 11, 2014 6:28:00 PM CDT September 11, 2014 in News
By: Creighton Hayes, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Transportation and contractor Wilson and Company postponed aerial mapping of I-70 on Thursday because of weather. 

While postponing the flyover did not impact the cost of the project, MoDOT said 3D mapping of an 800 foot wide, five and a half mile stretch of I-70 will cost nearly $115,000.

"We describe the deliverable data we want, and that is the survey data for this section of roadway," said Travis Koestner, Assistant Engineer of the MoDOT Central District. "Wilson and Company then delivers the electronic data to us, and we can then use it as we work with our industry partners."

Koestner said the data is made up of geographic elevations in the area, tied to GPS coordinates. 

Despite the technical nature of the data, some people claim the cost of the data collection could be much lower. 

"I think government agencies could benefit from drones," said Adam Weber, a digital media manager with The Evoke Group in Columbia. "UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] are very affordable in relation to using helicopters."

UAVs range in price, anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than $15,000. Weber acknowledged there are some situations where helicopters are far superior, like cases of life-flighting, but he said a UAV could accomplish the same aerial mapping goals at a much lower cost. 

"The initial cost of the drone is really the only one associated," Weber said. ""UAVs run on rechargeable battery operated systems instead of using extremely costly and inefficient jet fuel."

For now, Koestner said it is more efficient to bid out aerial mapping projects to private industry, and MoDOT isn't likely to use funds on unmanned drones. 

A representative from Wilson and Company said the group would be interested in using drones if FAA regulations would allow them and technology continues to improve.

"These [drone] systems are showing a lot of promise when combined with sound photogrammetric principles," said Derek Smith, a Geospatial and Remote Sensing specialist with Wilson and Company. "I believe that adding this technology to the toolbox will provide a more cost effective approach to certain types of projects."

"Using a helicopter to retrieve photos or video of land or evaluate property, a UAV would be just as successful at retrieving that information and be very affordable," Weber said. "UAVs could also get it done faster, and it would save a lot of taxpayer dollars."

Weber said the industry is moving away from the term "UAV" and "drone," and toward the term UAS, or Unmanned Aircraft, or Aerial, Systems.

Koestner said he's not sure if MoDOT will ever own UAS technology. 

"Right now it's private industry," Koestner said. "MoDOT does not own this type of equipment and we don't look to own this type of equipment."

The MoDOT mapping flyover will take place on Saturday, September 13. 

More News

Grid
List
CHARITON COUNTY - The Chariton County Emergency Management Agency is organizing sandbagging efforts in Brunswick Monday morning. Residents in need... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, May 26 2019 May 26, 2019 Sunday, May 26, 2019 8:55:00 PM CDT May 26, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's capital city is still piled high with metal, pieces of houses, glass and vegetation after four... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, May 26 2019 May 26, 2019 Sunday, May 26, 2019 6:08:00 PM CDT May 26, 2019 in Top Stories
CALLAWAY COUNTY - After months of rehab work, volunteer firefighter Tim Hays is back at the North Callaway Fire Protection... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, May 26 2019 May 26, 2019 Sunday, May 26, 2019 4:22:00 PM CDT May 26, 2019 in News
BRUNSWICK - Some residents of Brunswick are encouraged to evacuate their homes due to heavy flooding in the area, according... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, May 26 2019 May 26, 2019 Sunday, May 26, 2019 2:55:00 PM CDT May 26, 2019 in News
ROCHEPORT – Severe flooding is happening across mid-Missouri and in Rocheport the flooding is leaving a finacial impact on businesses.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 7:57:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
ELDON - Married couple and business partners Jennifer and Jeremy Hart are counting their blessings after the historic motel they... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 4:33:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Twenty years after the Columbine High School shooting, many parents have only tepid confidence in school safety, according... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 3:16:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department released an official request for volunteers Saturday morning following Wednesday's EF-3 tornado.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:56:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
ELDON - Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) spent his Saturday touring the path of destruction Wednesday's tornadoes left behind. Hawley... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:39:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department is investigating two incidents of alleged looting involving three individuals Friday afternoon... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:18:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Neighbors in Jefferson City were already watching the Missouri River rise, but no one planned on an... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 11:42:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - According to the Callaway County Sheriff's Office, water was over the runways at Jefferson City Airport in Callaway... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 8:09:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Coverage From Callaway
JEFFERSON CITY - Insurance companies will inspect and process claims for damaged homes over the weekend. Wednesday night's tornado badly... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:48:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A man involved in a car crash on I-70 May 16 has died from his injuries. William... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Missouri River has completely overflowed its banks near the end of South Route N. near Ashland.... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:16:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City is offering instructions on how to get rid of the debris created by Wednesday's tornado.... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 5:08:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Insurance agents are warning people hit by Wednesday's tornado to be careful about signing repair contracts. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 3:26:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Volunteers from all over Jefferson City are working to help those affected by the tornado. The... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 2:37:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
2am 68°
3am 67°
4am 67°
5am 68°