Reality TV-like series “Down to Earth” features surveyors of Rogers-based engineering company Crafton Tull in the first three episodes, titled “The Ozarks.”
Bret Burghdurf, marketing director of the Americas for Microdrones, said the episodes were filmed over three days in November near Big Creek in the Ozarks. Microdrones is a global manufacturer of drones integrated with mapping and surveying technology, and the company, with its U.S. office in Rome, N.Y., produced the series.
“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,” Burghdurf said. “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.”
In the series, Crafton Tull employees Nick Tucker, project manager and vice president of the energy division, and Jeff Davis, UAV survey coordinator, surveyed a mountainside for a customer to determine whether a road could be built there. They used Microdrone mdLiDAR1000 to navigate an area with 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.”
Microdrones previously produced a video for Crafton Tull, and after completing it, the company realized how useful the information could be for others in the industry, Burghdurf said. This led the company to develop the “Down to Earth” series, with a target audience of surveyors and geospatial industry professionals.
The series premiered Feb. 19 in a webinar for which viewers can register. The episodes are now available on the Microdrones YouTube site, Burghdurf said.