Reality show to highlight role of drones in difficult survey ops

By MicroDrone | February 12, 2020

"Down to Earth,” a new reality series, reveals the challenges and hazards that professional surveyors face while out in the field. The series, sponsored by MicroDrones, shows how challenging surveying jobs can be overcome with the help of aerial imagery and analysis captured via drone.

The series will premiere February 19. Viewers can register to watch at either 9am ET or 6pm ET and view a preview at the following link: CLICK HERE.

 The first 3 episodes, titled “The Ozarks” will take viewers on an edge-of-your-seat journey alongside engineering and surveying firm Crafton Tull. Watch as they attempt to map an area in Arkansas’s treacherous Ozark Mountain region using Microdrones Integrated Systems to provide powerful, reliable, and high-quality deliverables.

The premiere viewing will feature the first 3 episodes along with exclusive behind-the-scenes mission planning, data capture and analysis of the final deliverables narrated by the professionals involved in the project. Crafton Tull’s Nick Tucker, Vice President of Energy Services and Jeff Davis, Survey Coordinator/UAV Pilot will provide the commentary along with Microdrones US South Sales Manager Matt Rosenbalm and NEI UAS Sales and Support Representative, Ross Kenney.

In the first episode, you’ll meet the Crafton Tull team and learn about their mission – collecting geospatial data on 150 acres of the cliff-filled region of Big Creek where they are tasked with surveying the site so that their engineers can design a road through the heart of the mountainous terrain.

“The challenge on this project is the terrain, from surveying the top to the bottom of the mountain,” said Crafton Tull Vice President of Energy Services, Nick Tucker.

Throughout “The Ozarks,” you’ll see how Crafton Tull attacked this challenging terrain head-on with the Microdrones mdLiDAR1000, leveraging the drone to navigate an elevation change of more than 500 feet.

“Without a drone and with a regular survey crew out here, you’re looking at probably two to three weeks of fieldwork to get this surveyed,” Davis said. “It’s dangerous, too, because there are some sheer bluffs on here that would be really challenging to get data on.”

Providing support and technical assistance was Microdrones Southern U.S. Sales Manager Matt Rosenbalm, who was confident the mdLIDAR1000 could overcome the daunting challenges of the Ozarks.

“I always like to see what kinds of projects they’re using our systems to do,” Rosenbalm said. “This one is obviously putting everything to the test, and it’s kind of neat to see how we tackle this.”

In episodes 2 and 3 you’ll see how the Crafton Tull team adapts to new challenges and problems, collects and analyzes powerful deliverables with the Microdrones integrated system, and find out if the team’s mission was a success.

“We frame Down to Earth within the genre of a reality series, because part of the show is watching surveyors work out in the field, set up their equipment, and deal with all the different elements and challenges they face,” said Microdrones Marketing Director Bret Burghdurf. “Plus, it's more engaging and fun to watch. But at the end of the day, whatever happens in the field, they’re still responsible for getting their job done.  This series demonstrates how Microdrones can make that process more efficient with powerful end deliverables from our systems. If you want to see real surveyors overcoming difficult field challenges and collecting really good data, then watch Down to Earth.”