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QK Wins ACEC California Engineering Excellence Commendation Award for “Practical Applications for UAS Technology in a Civil Engineering and Surveying Consultancy”
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Visalia, CA – Quad Knopf, Inc. (dba QK) is happy to announce our selection for an American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) California Engineering Excellence Commendation Award.

The profession of land surveying has experienced a technological sea-change. The latest new technology to emerge in the mapping world is UAV/UAS. UAV stands for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drone), referring to the aircraft itself, while UAS stands for Unmanned Aerial Systems.

QK is harnessing this technology to advance the civil engineering and land surveying professions, as well as reduce our clients’ bottom line, and we currently employ nine (9) FAA Licensed Part 107 Commercial UAV Pilots.

We used this UAS in the area of Rexland Acres, a disadvantaged community located just south of Bakersfield in Kern County, California which needed a topographic map, hydrology and hydraulic reports, and preliminary design for the future Rexland Acres Community Sidewalk Improvement Project.

There were several underlying components to the project that resulted in the decision to use UAS in addition to traditional surveying methods: the size of the area encompasses more than 400-acres, and the overall project has a limited budget, and every dollar saved in the initial survey could be diverted to construction of the much-needed infrastructure improvements. By incorporating UAS technology, and using modified drones to obtain enhanced aerial imagery, QK was able to drastically reduce the number of man hours required in the field, thereby saving money, and increasing the safety of our field crews.

QK Land Surveyor Mark Huntley takes a test flight in Tulare County.

One additional project for which this technology was incorporated was the Sequoia Springs Water slides addition to Visalia Adventure Park in Visalia, CA. For this project, QK used more than just standard UAV technology available to everyone. QK surveyors attached a Real-time kinematic (RTK) positioning unit to our drone. At the time, in April 2018, manufacturers weren’t making drones with capability of achieving the level of accuracy we felt was necessary for the project. As a result, our surveyors innovated and improvised by purchasing a 3rd party RTK unit so that we could obtain extremely accurate geotags.

UAS technology provides a significant impact to the engineering and construction fields for years to come. With better and more accurate data, the design, plans, specifications, and estimates on the deliverables end of a project, are much more accurate. The traditional deliverables to the client can be supplemented with highly detailed imagery, and we can also provide new deliverables, like 3D models of a site, GIS-based products, and dense point clouds if needed. All the while having drastically reduced client costs during survey with minimal crew time spent in the field.

The team at QK is proud to be recognized by ACEC California for our work in developing these innovative advancements and we look forward to continuing to serve our communities with this technology in the future.

For more information on QK’s UAV/UAS Services see below.

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