Eyes in the sky: Coastway deploys the Motion CL910 Rugged Tablet PC for Aerial Surveys

Nov 14, 2013 • FeaturesHardwareland surveyingmotion computingCase Studiescase study

Coastway is the largest chartered land surveying and geospatial engineering company in Ireland. Headquartered in Naas, Ireland with overseas offices in London and Poland, Coastway specialises in capturing, processing and managing geospatial data.

Terrestrially based technologies make the land surveying of quarries and similar large, external facilities time-intensive.  As this time passes there is the risk of the survey becoming inaccurate as the land changes and the quarry alters or further equipment is added.

This necessitates the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to enable quicker, more comprehensive topographical surveys.  UAVs also enable safer working practices and typically have less impact on the environment.

To ensure an accurate survey, control of the UAV is paramount.  A tablet PC is the natural choice.  However, using the tablet specified by the UAV manufacturers, Coastway soon hit a series of challenges: a short battery life, lack of ruggedisation, excessive weight and limited functionality interrupted work flow.   As a result, Coastway turned to rugged tablet specialist Camtech to specify and implement a better solution.

Darrell Newman, Technical Services Manager, Camtech explains: “The typical work flow for the Coastway team would be to use a tablet in the office to conduct pre-flight checks, then file a flight plan.  The device would then need to remain on standby as the team travels to the site, in order to enable any revisions to the scope of the task or the flight plans.

“The survey team will usually handle around three jobs per day, with around four flights per job of approximately 20 minutes per flight.  This profile of activity and the environment in which the teams operate made battery life, portability and ruggedisation critical concerns.  As a result we specified the Motion CL910 with additional peripherals to enhance the weather proofing.”

The CL910 enables the team to have a full working day with up to seven hours of battery life.  At 1.9kg the CL910 is portable and in the field, the 10.1” screen delivers bright visibility and the ruggedisation of Corning® Gorilla® Glass.  The display supports both "Touch" and "Pen" input, enabling fine control of the UAV drone.  When the survey is complete, the integrated Wi-Fi enables quick transmission of the data.  Specific job data and individual flight footage are kept separate by backing up flight footage to the SD card in the internal bay.

Motion CL910 Tablet Overview: