The use of drones in construction is on the rise. From the ease of surveying large areas to automatic data collection capabilities, drones are helping construction companies to save time and reduce risk at the jobsite. A recent article on EquipmentWorld.com discussed the spreading trend, "Across North America, drones are proving their value and gaining momentum in materials management on roadbuilding projects, as well as for their usefulness in bridge inspections. Drones are also improving worker and public safety as they keep lane closures to a minimum and reduce the time that inspectors are high off the ground, transportation departments say."
For all the benefits that UAVs can bring to a construction project, commercial drones can represent a significant investment depending on the model and contractors want to keep it operating safely and effectively as long as possible. Knowing the current wind speed at the location where drones are in use will enable you to make the best decision on flying conditions. Dronelife.com urges caution when windy conditions exist. "On certain days when wind speeds reach into the double digits, it’s often best to exercise caution and wait until a more tranquil day for your next flight. There’s video after video on YouTube of some of the most powerful and expensive drones being swept away by prevailing wind gusts after flying too high and losing connection with the controller."
How windy is too windy? It depends on the UAV model and the manufacturer recommendations specific to the unit. However, a general rule of thumb is don't fly in speeds more than 20 mph. Checking a Weather app isn’t always reliable – that information often comes from a weather station located miles away with potentially vastly different conditions. Kestrel meters make it easy to measure wind speeds instantly and accurately. The simple Kestrel 1000 measures current, average, and max wind speed.
Windy conditions can impact more than drone operations. Scaffolding work becomes extremely dangerous with the threat of high winds. For a more complete environmental monitoring unit, the Kestrel 5200 Professional Meter is a comprehensive jobsite weather tracker used to calculate evaporation when pouring concrete. The Kestrel 5200 also measures heat stress index – ideal for preventing heat-related illness or injury and ensuring worker safety in hot weather. Waterproof, dustproof, and drop-tested to Military standards, the Kestrel can stand up to tough outdoor working conditions while helping contractors protect their equipment and their employees.
Watch this video to learn more about the 5200 and jobsite weather monitoring: