CTDOT Waterbury Bus Storage & Maintenance Facility UAS & TLS Survey

Watertown, CT

AI Engineers, Inc. (AI) provided Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) services for the construction progress documentation of the Waterbury Bus Storage and Maintenance Facility. This $100 million, 400,000-sf. building sits on 30 acres in Watertown, CT.

The intent of the operation was to collect data that could be processed into a number of deliverables that would aid AI’s construction inspection team. AI deployed DJI Matrice 210 RTK and DJI Phantom 4 Pro UASs on multiple occasions throughout the final year of the project. 

The UAS was preprogrammed to fly a 35-minute, repeatable autonomous pattern with the intent to collect hundreds of overlapped 20-megapixel, geotagged, high-resolution photographs. Through various software processing, valuable deliverables were made available to the inspection team to provide an alternative means of monitoring construction progress. These included photogrammetric point clouds, 3D models, orthomosaics, topography/contour maps, volume calculations, and triangulated irregular networks (TIN) to name a few. In addition, the point clouds were overlaid with the building information model (BIM) for the facility to compare each phase’s as-built conditions with the original design.

Several manual UAS flights occurred on the exterior and interior of the building as well to provide additional photographic and video documentation of the construction progress.

AI also used terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) as part of this project to collect additional data that was merged with the UAS deliverables.


  • Client: CTDOT
  • Duration: 2017-2018
  • Project Scope:
    • UAS & TLS survey
    • 35-minute autonomous flights
    • 20-megapixel geotagged high-resolution photographs & 4K high-definition video
    • Point cloud
    • 3D model
    • Orthomosaic
    • Topography/contours
    • TIN
    • Volume calculations