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3DR Goes to Work: Announcing Site Scan, the premier software solution for aerial data aggregation and cloud analysis

We’re thrilled to announce the release of our first dedicated enterprise platform. Site Scan is a powerful and fully-automated aerial analytics platform — the complete, end-to-end solution for reality data capture and analysis with popular cloud systems. Built specifically for the business user, with an intuitive, almost magical app experience and all the safe and smart Solo technology you expect from us, Site Scan will help enterprise clients save time, save money and keep their workers safe. All with a few taps on a screen; no special training needed.

Our esteemed launch partners: Autodesk and Sony

Importantly, Site Scan automatically processes and populates images into the most powerful data processing and manipulation systems. We’re launching with Autodesk, which makes some of the world’s most popular and powerful design and engineering analytics systems; the Site Scan pipeline integrates its captured and processed data seamlessly with those systems.

Sony, it goes without saying, is a globally dominant camera company, and we’ve worked with them to integrate their UMC-R10C camera with the open Solo gimbal bay, for shooting stills at an incredible 20MP, and even zooming.

What it is and what it does

Site Scan is a complete camera-to app-to cloud system that makes it safer and easier than ever for people in construction, telecom, GIS, energy, infrastructure and related fields to collect and process aerial data and perform inspections. Site Scan automatically plans and executes both flight and high-resolution reality capture for conducting site surveys and scans. Securely upload that geotagged data to the 3DR cloud and Autodesk ReCap for processing into orthorectified 2D maps, DEMs, 3D point clouds and 3D mesh. Once processed, seamlessly port this data to other cloud systems for analysis, temporal comparison and manipulation. Inspect, examine and photograph towers and other structures with everyday swiping and pinching on the tablet screen, leveraging the Sony camera’s zoom lens where precise imagery is required to capture asset identification information.

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Why Site Scan is important

It’s not only about saving time and money and optimizing operating efficiency. In the United States, the leading cause of death in construction is falling: 349 people every year. Site Scan is a safer, more efficient solution that will keep workers on the ground.

Site Scan also fills a gap in data collection. Satellite imagery is low-resolution and compromised by cloud cover. Manned aircraft is risky and expensive to fly — not to mention repeat — and planes cannot capture accurate data in small-midrange sites. Site Scan fills that gap, and it does so without breaking the bank and offering unlimited repeatability: capture data to compare monthly, weekly, daily, even hourly.

That’s the gist of it

Any questions? At all? Just drop them into the comments at the bottom of this blog!

To skip to pricing and availability, click here.

BUT, to get the full understanding of how Site Scan works, and how it works for you, read on! We’ll look closer and explain the workflow of this truly incredible (and incredibly well-thought-out) aerial analytics system, and take a look at the possibilities of its open and extensible platform.

Flight Tools

Three steps

Site Scan has three essential parts:

  • data collection;
  • data processing;
  • and cloud integration.

Here’s the breakdown.

DATA COLLECTION: The app (pre-installed on an included Sony Xperia tablet) has three reality capture modes, all commanded with just a fingertip: scan, for making 3D models; survey, for creating high-res maps and DEMs; and inspect, for safely, easily and quickly examining and photographing towers and other structures.

Seriously: Flight and image capture for survey and scan is fully-automated; just tap and Solo calculates, plans and executes. Inspect with familiar swipes and pinches on your screen. Manage it all entirely from the tablet, without touching the controller sticks once. No special training for field operatives needed.

Survey: Outline the area you want to map or survey on the tablet screen with your fingertip; select the resolution you want and the drone calculates the flight paths, takes off, flies and lands by itself, automatically capturing the images you need at the resolution you want. The app handles geotagging, orthorectifying and stitching; tap to send final files to your cloud system.

Scan: Simply select the object you want to model and Solo orbits it automatically, triggering all the photos needed to compose a complete high-resolution model. The app stitches those images together into a 3D model, which you can send with a tap to processing and analysis systems like ReCap and AutoCAD.

Inspect: Aerial photography and high-object inspections are typically performed at great expense and danger of loss of life; however, structures like bridges, antennae, roofs and flare stacks have federal mandates for regular inspection. Site Scan keeps inspectors safe on the ground. The Inspect mode works just like the fingertip pinch or swipe that you use to pan and zoom in a photo on your smartphone. You don’t need to touch the controller sticks: Send the drone up and down, in and out, watch a live HD feed and even take pictures with this simple and intuitive tablet-based pilot system.

Mission screen: View all the jobs you’ve completed. Access the associated geotagged images, manage stitching and modeling and directly output 2D and 3D images.

DATA PROCESSING: Once you’ve captured the data you want, you can securely upload it to the 3DR Cloud and to the Autodesk ReCap processing pipeline just by tapping your tablet. Using Autodesk’s powerful ReCap platform for processing means your data is prepared to integrate with the full suite of Autodesk products, including Civil3D, AutoCAD, Infraworks, Revit and more.

CLOUD INTEGRATION: What’s unique to Site Scan, and probably most important to enterprise users in terms of practicality and workflow, is seamless data integration into leading cloud analytics systems. Once processed through ReCap, your reality data (e.g., 3D point clouds, 2D orthographic views and 3D mesh) is available for consumption and for use with many Autodesk products, supporting various use cases such as monitoring sites, measuring stockpiles, getting the as-built context and survey and mapping. Finally, the complete package, end to end.

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An Evolving Aerial Platform

3DR designed Site Scan as an open and extensible platform. On the hardware side, the Solo smart drone has open gimbal and accessory bays, which give both 3DR and their global technology partners the ability to integrate additional cameras and sensors. To that point, Site Scan will soon offer a package that includes the Sony UMC-R10C professional camera, offering the ability to shoot hi-res stills up to 20MP resolution, along with a zoom lens. Additionally, Solo firmware updates optimize the drone’s flight profile and performance. On the software side, 3DR will continually update the Site Scan app so customers can take advantage of the most recent and advanced analytics technologies.

Safety and Support

With Site Scan, even users new to drone technology will fly with confidence from day one. Users can define geofences, including obstacle fencing, simply by drawing on the screen with their fingertip; Solo won’t cross these geofences, and even plans its own flights around them so every flight is safe. The Site Scan app includes 3DR’s airspace safety information software, which alerts users if they’re about to fly in restricted airspace; they can then pull up a map of the area with all restrictions around them clearly marked. To support enterprise customers further, 3DR is going to be launching a new industry-leading customer success service, Premier Enterprise Support. Included with their purchase of Premier Support all future Site Scan users will have access to experts on Solo and aerial data acquisition; they will also have a Solo overnight replacement guarantee should anything go wrong with one of their drones.

Pricing and Availability

Site Scan with the Sony camera is expected to ship in June, 2016.

Site Scan with the GoPro HERO4 Black camera is available immediately for order on 3dr.com, priced at $3249 with a monthly service fee of $499 paid annually with a 12-month commitment. The package includes a Solo Smart Drone, four batteries, battery charger, GoPro® HERO4® Black, Xperia tablet, SanDisk 64Gb SD card and a case.

Special promotional pricing is available until June 30, 2016, with the annual service fee discounted to $299 for the term of a 12-month service agreement.

The monthly service fee is a license for one Solo drone and one Xperia tablet to access the 3DR Cloud with unlimited storage of aerial images, unlimited generation of Site Scan 2D maps and 3D models and full integration with Autodesk cloud applications.

Lastly, premier support is available for $99 per month, paid annually with a 12-month commitment. The support package includes seven-day-a-week access to 3DR experts and a guarantee that provides one free overnight replacement for a Solo smart drone if needed for any reason.

You can browse packages for Site Scan on our store.

Site Scan package
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