In our first ‘Powered by FlyFreely’, we have a case study on something pretty complex. When you have a lot of something stored in a small area, it’s important to keep track of it as accurately as possible.


Traditionally that’s meant trigonometry and broad estimates. 


Thankfully we live in the 21st century. With the right equipment and software, getting granular (in this case – literally) detail on stockpiles can be pretty simple.


Read how it went down.


Professional drone pilots enabled by FlyFreely recently completed volume estimate trials on indoor stockpiles at Townsville Port.  Using an off-the-shelf consumer drone, pilots captured data on a 4000 tonne bulk material stockpile and produced results with a 1.5 per cent margin of error.


Held onsite in large storage sheds, the stockpiles are approximately 150 metres long with clearance of less than five metres between the slope and the roof.  There is minimal ground access around the stockpiles and poor lighting conditions.    


With the complex nature of the operation there was a significant focus on maximising safety margins.  The use of a smaller UAV and highly trained drone pilots provided a greater operating envelope and allowed the team to capture data accurately in the restricted space. 


Once captured, the data was reconstructed using photogrammetry to produce three-dimensional models of the stockpiles, which in turn was used to determine the stockpile volume.  The final data was provided to the client within four hours.


Since this trial, we have continued working with the company to further improve their data collection processes and to empower their team to make greater use of commercial drones.


Fly Freely is experienced in volumetrics for a wide range of applications, including stockpiles, quarrying, tailings dams and open volumes of pits.  Our team can provide the necessary training and licensing to equip you with the skills to operate as a professional drone pilot within your business. 


Find out How It works.