C+S December 2020 Vol. 6 Issue 12 (web)

natural disaster recovery, and video and still imagery. Furthermore, team members are also training to use drones as a means of assisting bridge inspections. The team has even used drones to find and investigate beaver dams that were causing flooding on some Alabama roadways. According to Woodham, ALDOT establishing a UAS department has changed the way the department operates. He notes the change in AL- DOT’s ability to acquire and deliver data for both pre-construction and post-construction projects. In a time where remote communicate and data-sharing are prime centers of focus, ALDOT’s adoption of UAS/V technology allows District Managers and other personnel to conduct their business in an easier, safer, and more efficient manner. Additionally, UAS/V technology allows ALDOT personnel to deter- mine stockpile quantities in under an hour when, prior to the adoption of UAS/V, the same task took multiple days to complete. This level of efficiency speaks to the blossoming potential of UAS/V technology as a means of increasing efficiency and public safety. Such a wide-variety of uses for UAS/V technology means ALDOT’s 5-person UAS team is constantly busy, but this isn’t stopping them from staying on the cutting edge. In addition to constantly working to develop better ways to acquire, process, and deliver UAS data, Wood- ham and his team are looking to add LIDAR capabilities to their fleet in the near future. Watch the winning video here. UAS Team left to right: Jonathan Woodham, J.D. D’Arville, Mike Kyser, Casey Asher and Steve Brantley.

official when it began assigning official pilots. ALDOT’s UAS Man- ager Jonathan Woodham believes that, like other technologies, UAS/V usage faced some resistance when it first began being implemented in his agency, but people are starting to come around to it. However, although individuals like Jonathan Woodham have understood the various applications of UAS/V technology to the field, others in the in- dustry are beginning to buy-in to the technology and view it as another tool to help complete everyday tasks. For ALDOT, the uses of UAS/V technology are numerous and grow- ing. For now, the ALDOT UAS uses drones for projects such as: construction and environmental project site monitoring, surveying and mapping, 3D modeling, traffic flow monitoring, stockpile volumetrics,

LUKE CAROTHERS is the Editor for Civil + Structural Engineer Media. If you want us to cover your project or want to feature your own article, he can be reached at lcarothers@zweiggroup.com.


december 2020


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