A Costain/Carillion joint venture has used pioneering aerial photography to speed up planning and progress reports on its Highways Agency improvement project on the M1, junctions 10 to 13.
Named swingletCAM, the remotely operated device is a ready-to-deploy micro aircraft with an 800mm wingspan and a built-in high resolution camera.
The camera allows the user to highlight potential problems much faster and in far greater detail than traditionally manned aerial photography. The flight plan can be pre-programmed in the project office and then launched from a pre-determined position.
Users can even alter the trajectory of the device during the flight with a simple drag and drop on the computer. Additionally, it can be used for 3D photogrammetry surveys and can be overlaid onto maps such as Google Earth.