In September of this year, I had the pleasure of traveling out to the InterDrone 2018 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada to research and discover the latest in Drone hardware and software technology. My goal was to find out what new drones and software will be coming out soon and how DLHowell and Howell Kline can utilize these technologies to improve our engineering and surveying services.

Keynotes from Daniel K. Elwell

The first keynote of the convention was from Daniel K. Elwell. He is the Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He gave a very inspiring speech on how the FAA is very interested in working with companies and UAS operators to provide safe airspace for manned and Unmanned aircraft. I was very impressed with his keynote and his efforts to forward the Drone airspace and technology for the future.

InterDrone Classes and Presentations

The professionals at InterDrone took the courses to the next level. Some of the presentations I attended went over up and coming FAA regulations for UAS pilots, 3D Mapping using drones for surveying as well as best practices for mission planning.

Drone Hardware Technology

The advancements in drone technology are just incredible. You may have seen the DJI Phantom 4 drone which is a standard in the industry, but the equipment at InterDrone seemed like something from a SciFi TV Show. Some of the latest technology included drones with hybrid fuel systems enabling flight times greater than two hours. Other UAS systems are based on wing designs that could cover large areas, 100+ acres in one flight but were also able to take off and land vertically. There are also security drones that could be deployed to take down rogue drones.

InterDrone 2018 Photos

InterDrone, Final Thoughts

There was a lot of information to collect in only a few short days at InterDrone 2018, but I can certainly say that utilizing unmanned aircraft in the construction, surveying, and civil engineering industries will be a new tool we can all use to improve the industry.