Case studies

Skanska uses Measure Ground Control to manage demand innovatively and safely


Share | 10/29/2020


Skanska USA is a leading construction and development company. Skanska’s core operations include building construction, civil infrastructure and developing self-financed commercial properties.With U.S. headquarters in New York City, Skanska has offices in 28 metro areas with 7,900 employees nationwide. Skanska is an industry-leading innovator in both safety and project execution, and offers competitive solutions for both traditional and complex assignments to help build a more sustainable future for our customers and communities.

In response to increased demand for enhanced site progress monitoring, Skanska’s building operations business unit created its national drone program, beginning with a single drone pilot. In five years, the program grew to include over 40 pilots with a fleet of 20 drones. 

As Skanska assessed the expansion of their drone program, they realized the potential need for a more diversified mix of software and programs.

“Initially, we were trained on multiple software systems each with several functions. There were different tools for processing images, taking 360 photos and planning autonomous flights,’” said Brooke Gemmell, Senior Innovative Development Engineer at Skanska USA Building. “It was overwhelming to assess which software to use.”

Meeting Skanska’s Growing Needs

To avoid retraining pilots to use new software and transfer historical data, Skanska adopted Measure Ground Control to assist with the following benefits:

  • Consolidation. Use Measure Ground Control for multiple tasks that were previously spread among several applications, simplifying workflows and offsetting the cost of using multiple products.
  • Meeting Existing Needs. To keep up with the evolution of drone technology, Skanska needed a newer application that was compatible with current drone hardware.

“Staying with the old app would’ve rendered our newest drones useless, and as a result would have discouraged innovation,” said Gemmell. “AgEagle’s team expedited their 360 pano tool at our request”

  • Expanding and Evolving. During a trial period, AgEagle was open to collaboration and receptive to building new tools. 

Collaboration for Success

“Measure Ground Control has redefined the way we deliver drone training to new pilots. Instead of needing multiple tools, we focus on a single platform and define and create the deliverables we want,” said Gemmell. “Choosing one tool has significantly reduced confusion for new drone pilots and has increased the efficiency of flight operations.”

“On our monthly call, AgEagle actively listens to our questions and challenges. Their team gets feedback from those who are in the trenches, and our team gets immediate support and solutions tailored to our exact needs,” said Gemmell.

Combining Safety and Efficiency with Measure Ground Control

Skanska needed to meet the evolving needs of its clients across the country, and have the ability to problem-solve while managing drone flights remotely.

Skanska’s building operations in Houston needed to capture drone footage to enhance a logistics plan for a local pursuit. When the only pilot in Houston was committed to other projects in the region, support came from 1,800 miles away.  

“As a Marketing Coordinator, I support projects based in our offices across the nation,” said a member of Skanska USA Building’s marketing team in Portland, OR. “On the Houston project, I had a deep understanding of the details that needed to be captured for the logistics plan. Through Measure Ground Control software, I was able to preprogram the flight to capture the important details, which allowed the local pilot to simply arrive at the site, determine where to launch and press ‘go.’”

The flight program detailed key project site areas to be photographed, ensuring footage was captured from multiple positions along a specific flight path. With assistance to preprogram an automated flight plan, the local pilot was able to visit the site and fly the drone.

As with any drone assignment, pilots have to adjust for fluctuating risk levels in flight areas. Measure Ground Control provides the ability to carry out a flight despite changing conditions encountered in the field, rather than shortening or canceling it.

“When we execute flights with Measure Ground Control, we have a precise range of where the drone is going to be flying, increasing our ability to execute those missions safely,” said Gemmell. “For instance, we flew 100 feet away from a helicopter pad for a recent flight, with two helicopters coming in just before the flight operations began. After receiving approval from the local ATC, we started our flight just minutes after the helicopters left the area.

With Measure Ground Control, we could expedite our flight time and maintain a consistent altitude below the helicopter pad. This reduced the risk involved with the flight and allowed us to capture all the information we needed in the fastest time possible.”

Why Choose Measure Ground Control?

By working collaboratively and adapting to a changing market, while prioritizing FAA compliance and safety, Measure Ground Control has what it takes to help large enterprises adjust to growing demands without having to grow their budget. 

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