Exciting Projects and Best Practices from the Field

Matt Rosenbalm is the Microdrones Sales Manager for the Southern United States and has extensive experience in the market with drone sales and operations. Prior to working with Microdrones, Matt was employed with SITECH South, where he helped develop a partnership with Microdrones to provide commercial UAV surveying and mapping solutions for their customers in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. 

Matt Rosenbalm, Microdrones Sales Manager for the Southern U.S.

As their Advanced Technology Specialist, Matt piloted the md4-1000 for SITECH and helped pioneer their expansion in UAV operations through training, service and managing customer relations.  Now, he continues those efforts on behalf of Microdrones, focusing on three main dealers:  AllTerra Central, N.E.I and SITECH South.

Working throughout the South, Matt has encountered a number of exciting projects and best practices from the field.  For example, SITECH South’s customer, Brent Scarbrough has become one of the major operators of the mdMapper1000DG.  “They fly our mdMapper1000DG two, three, sometimes four times a week- maybe even more because it’s much more efficient than having guys go out there and Topo job sites.” Rosenbalm explained.  “Their normal job sites are 40-60 acres, which can take a couple guys with base and rover 40 man hours to finish.  They can fly 30-45 minutes with our mdMapper1000DG, have the data processed that evening, and not have to worry about their guys out there.  Furthermore, they can collect the information just as accurately with the drone and get a lot more data from it more often.”

See the mdMapper1000DG system being put to work on a construction site. Brent Scarbrough & Company, a very successful construction firm serving the Southeast U.S., is out there doing this 2-3 times each week.

Matt’s customers throughout the southern territory are flying Microdrones Solutions over construction sites, quarries and other survey areas to analyze their stockpile inventory, collect volume metrics and manage how much material they’re getting out of the ground.  Matt acknowledges, “A lot of times these construction companies are getting paid by how much dirt they’re moving.  So with the proper management, they can get paid more frequently.  However, if you end up not having enough material you’re going to have to rebuild everything and do a lot of re-work which costs a lot of money.”

Putting the mdMapper1000DG to work allows the process to become much more cost-effective because their data collection is much more efficient up front.  Often times after tires, treads, and diggers roll on a site, a UAV can survey and map the entire area to provide a detailed analysis of resources, materials and overall management.  Matt explains how this can give customers a competitive edge. “After reviewing the data, they can go back to the engineer that designed the site and say, ‘Hey look- you said we have this much material when we really only have this much.’  They can go and get a change-order and then haul more dirt on site.  It’s all about dirt management with these companies to make sure they are not going to lose the material or have enough material when the day’s done.”

The Microdrones mdMapper1000DG system is a fully integrated aerial photogrammetry and mapping solution. Integrated with the Applanix APX-15, the system allows surveyors to achieve professional results with fewer (or no) ground control points. Microdrones offers a complete package consisting of the drone, sensors, hardware, software, workflow, training and support. See it in action on a construction site in this quick video!

Matt also notes that many of his most successful customers don’t just employ drone pilots, but hire geospatial experts who can use the mdMapper1000DG as another resource to get the job done more safely, efficiently and cost effectively.  “It’s not something you just get off the shelf and you’re able to fly,” he explains.  “It takes some learning and it takes some knowledge of what it can do to extract and utilize the data.  At the end of the day, our drone is just another tool in the tool belt of our surveyors.  If you looked in the back of their truck you’ll find more than just a drone.  There’s also a base and rover, a total station, a level rod, and all the proper equipment that belongs in a survey truck to get the job done on a construction site.”

One of the main benefits of working with a Microdrones system is that airframe is a commercial platform that can grow with your company.  The md4-1000 has been flying for almost 10 years and as new technology comes out, Microdrones can integrate those new payloads into the system.  Therefore, having an affinity for flying drones can be an advantage if you’re looking to break into this industry, but having the proper geospatial background can help seal the deal.

That’s what keeps Matt excited about the future.  “I never thought I’d be working for a company like Microdrones.  For those people that are looking to get into this industry, find something that you’re passionate about and just work for it.  I love flying these drones, gathering the data and processing it.  I just did it every day and saw a job posting on the Microdrones website and went for it. The rest is history.  If you set your mind to it and work hard enough, anything can happen.  It’s great to work for a company like Microdrones and it’s great to make people’s lives easier by using our platforms and solutions.  I love it.”

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