drone technology

Getting Your Landfill Drone Program Off the Ground and New SCS RMC Technology

June 6, 2019

Do you glaze over when the tech-speak starts? In our blog, we’ll try to prevent that from happening while describing new technology for landfills and industrial use. We’ve merged our SCS Engineers technology with some new web-based technology that will make your landfill, facility, or plant safer for workers and help lower operational costs. Not only that, with SCS Dataservices® (already on over 600 landfills) you will have a complete and accurate record at your disposal.

You can find information on our website, but here we describe the most exciting new Remote Monitoring and Control (RMC) options:

No-Crew Aerial Vehicle, or Drone Technology

SCS owns a small fleet of no-crew aerial vehicles (UAVs) and employs licensed UAV pilots nationwide. The use of UAV technology, commonly known as drones, can produce photogrammic and aerial photographic imagery offering site owners and operators the ability to take measurements from photographs, especially useful for recovering the exact positions of surface points quickly and efficiently. Some of the benefits of UAVs are:

  • Real-time, more accurate air samples help determine greenhouse gas emissions;
  • High-quality orthomosaic maps, digital terrain models, waste volumetrics;
  • Surveys and inspections are much faster than when using a land vehicle;
  • Labor costs can be lower, especially when regular site inspections are required over a large and hard to navigate areas;
  • Using drones instead of human labor to provide images of dangerous or difficult to navigate sites is safer.

SCS deploys UAV technology on a case-by-case basis as an adjunct to our RMC® services. We also offer to consult and training on the implementation of UAV programs at solid waste and other facilities.

Augmented Reality Technology

SCS can also present real-time data in mixed reality environments (e.g., Microsoft HoloLens2). Augmented 3D facilitates the difficult task of visualizing actual and conceptual site conditions. Another application of reality technology includes analyzing landfills in more than three dimensions by combining multiple datasets. These 4D models enable operators to view conditions over time, providing the ability to detect and measure changes and insight into the benefits of critical infrastructure such as earthworks and systems. One could add costs as a 5th dimension to visualize the resources, time and money needed to move solid materials.

Mobile Control of Industrial Processes

Shown here are the landfill flare controls.

The SCS RMC® team integrates web-based technology called Ignition 8 into our client solutions. An Inductive Automation product, Ignition 8 enables us to build dynamic industrial applications that automatically respond to each client’s unique perspective.

Ignition Perspective enables us to build full SCADA, HMI, and alarm systems, and provide clients with a mobile view of their operations via smartphones and other mobile devices. Full-control of industrial processes is more mobile, customizable, scalable, and secure than ever before. For example, one of our clients uses advanced SCS RMC® – Ignition Perspective HTML 5 integration for remote access and control of piping and instrumentation diagrams that stream live sensor data. The application reduces O&M costs by:

  • Proactively avoiding systematic and equipment issues by receiving instant notifications;
  • Less onsite callouts with the ability to remotely troubleshoot the system;
  • Automatic reporting;
  • Data storage in a secure, cloud-based environment;
  • Providing high-clarity data visualization.



Read Waste Today’s article Using Drones for Landfill Monitoring to learn more.









Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Optimizing Landfill Operations with Drone Technology

April 29, 2019

The days of laying out ground control points and spending hours in front of a computer processing data have come and gone. Phil Carrillo of SCS Engineers and others discuss how to get a drone program started that will add real value to your landfill operations, and provide a good return on investment.

In addition to the expert tips, the article provides links to information and resources important to planning a program. Here are a few tips from the experts:

  • Decide which area, or areas, you’re most interested in using a drone for such as methane monitoring or land surveying. This helps determine which equipment and software you need.
  • Obtain the right certifications such as a Remote Pilot Certificate from the
    Federal Aviation Administration, which requires applicants to pass an initial aeronautical knowledge exam and license renewal every two years.
  • Choose a drone that works well for your operations, considering its use, the size of your landfill and your budget. RTK and PPK drones come with GPS correction technology, minimizing the need for placing control points beforehand.
  • Multirotors are optimal for most landfills less than 500 acres, while fixed-wings offer more battery life for larger landfills.
  • The camera resolution is important when using drones for mapping, and the actual drone size and stability are factors if you plan to add extra sensors.
  • An updated computer may also be needed to process the data, depending on the software you choose.
  • Software is chosen based on your existing equipment, knowledge of analytics and customer service requirements. Cloud-computing software eliminates the need for major computer upgrades and programs are available that offer analyses functionality.
  • Cities have airspace regulations; be sure you remain within legal parameters.
  • Plan for human-made and natural conditions. Drones don’t like rain, and gusts over 15 mph can knock them off course. Drones and obstacles such as power lines or curious birds can be avoided with a plan.

Still sound daunting? It’s not for the professionals at SCS Engineers. Read the article on our website; we encourage sharing it with others too.

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More landfill technology resources are here



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:07 am