New drone software cuts costs on HS2

By Catrin Jones05 July 2022

Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV) will use Esri UK’s Site Scan for ArcGIS drone flight management and image processing software to support its drone deployment strategy on its Midlands section of HS2.

Drone image of Long Itchington Wood Tunnel site (Photo: Esri UK)

Site Scan for ArcGIS is being used to carry out drone site surveys, manage aggregate stockpiles and monitor the progress of construction on the project. It is said that various 2D and 3D outputs are being generated for sharing with multiple stakeholders, including high-definition imagery and 3D terrain models. 

BBV estimates that the use of drone surveys could save around £1.6 million (€1.8 million) if the same workflow was applied across 80 sites in the first year. Another notable benefit, says BBV, has been the removal of 800 ‘working at risk’ days and a cost saving of £30,000 (€35,000) per year from monitoring aggregate stockpiles, using a single drone operator to carry out 3D volumetric measurements in 20 minutes. 

“We needed the right software to manage an increasingly complex and varied use of drones and meet the needs of multiple teams, from logistics to site managers to engineers,” says Dan Fawcett, innovation director at Balfour Beatty Vinci.

“New digitised workflows are rapidly replacing traditional, physical working practices and introducing new levels of efficiency, accuracy and safety. On major projects such as HS2, the ROI achieved is significant.”

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