Using drones and software to monitor the progress of a solar construction project allows for exact and up-to-date measurements on its current status. However, high-quality imagery (data) is required to fully benefit from solar construction monitoring software. Without it, the information will be insufficient and the chance of incorrect reports increases. To capture high-quality imagery, two imagery (data) sets are needed: nadir images and oblique images. These monitoring missions are easy to fly and finished quickly. For example, performing set up and both missions took under 1 hour for a 10 MW site.


Nadir Images


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The main point of nadir imagery is to collect high-resolution data to create an orthomosaic. These inspections are flown in a flight mapping style and provide quality data for the entire site. The progress of the construction site is clear when viewed in a map style orthomosaic. In addition, because the orthomosaic is made up of individual high-resolution images, it allows users to magnify the map and view sections in detail. The alternative would be to use a single high-fly image, which lack detail to accurately inspect construction progress. This makes it easy to compare numbers and metrics in the deliverables with those received from the field.

A nadir image is taken with the gimbal pitch pointed straight down, -90 degrees from the horizon. These images provide an extremely high-resolution view of the solar construction project. The images are taken at a lower altitude, enabling exact measurements throughout each stage of the construction project.


Oblique Images


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The second type of imagery (data) required for solar construction monitoring is obliques. With obliques, the angle is not straight down over the construction site but from afar and at an angle of -15 to -45 degrees from the horizon. These flight missions are shorter, flown circularly around the solar construction site, require less imagery to be captured, but are still very valuable. Since they’re at an angle, they can be used as a quality assurance check to both field reports and the nadir/orthomosaic data. The angle that they’re taken at allows for inspection of the solar construction site at a different angle. Since they’re flown relatively low, the resolution of the image is still high enough to magnify and inspect. For example, some beams might appear to have been installed but with the oblique images, it can easily be confirmed.

Raptor Maps Construction Monitoring

If you would like to learn more about construction monitoring software please contact us HERE or email us directly through We can also help you learn more about our software that converts your inspection imagery into final reports that are accurate and easy to use for asset management and maintenance.

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