A Deep Dive into Propeller Support: How We Support Drone Programs Remotely

A quick note on this initiative:

As a global company, Propeller succeeds because we thrive at working remotely. Whether it’s troubleshooting hardware issues in real time, training workers on how best to use our platform, or advocating for customers’ needs from the other side of the planet, Propeller’s support teams are committed to providing the best service possible from a distance. 

Check out these deep dives into each of our individual support teams to learn how Propeller is prepared to help you at every stage:


There’s a secret ROI weapon that all Propeller customers get access to when they buy a software license from us: 24/7 support. 

Here, we’re going to dissect the ins and outs of Propeller’s support teams. We’ll show you why having access to a team of experts should be your top priority when starting up a drone program of your own. 

We’ll also discuss how we’re set up to support customers remotely, wherever they are in the world, and all the amazing humans that make up that support system. (Here are some of them below.)  

Check out our FREE webinar to hear some of Propeller’s support specialists discuss common drone surveying issues (and how they help customers resolve them).

one of the propeller support teams

Why finding a supportive vendor should be your number-one priority  

The time to invest in technology is now. We’re living in a time when it’s critically important to adopt new tools that not only help your existing team accomplish more in less time, but also attract new talent. 

Skepticism, price-point, misconceptions—these are things that keep worksites from buying into automated solutions like drones, and with good reason. And that’s because most 3D mapping and drone analytics companies sell a destination, rather than the map to get there. 

Our customers aren’t just getting a map to guide them to drone program success; they’re getting a dedicated co-pilot to guide them throughout their journey. 

Let’s check out some of the many ways Propeller sets customers up for success (and gets them closer to that drone program ROI they want).

A dedicated Propeller support specialist to get you started (and keep you going) 

As soon as you become a Propeller Platform customer, you’re immediately assigned a “go-to” contact for any and all drone surveying, data processing, and worksite analysis-related questions. 

We call these superhumans customer success engineers (CSEs), because they’re quite literally engineering your experience to ensure that you see the return on investment that you were looking for with your purchase. 

Guide to drones for construction

This starts with training. The majority of your training takes place remotely, screen to screen, from one side of the world to the other. (In addition to your free remote onboarding, we also offer paid onsite training).

The initial onboarding journey is broken down into four primary sessions:

  1. Kickoff call: You’ll be introduced to your CSE, discuss your short- and long-term goals, get an overview of Propeller’s support teams, and discuss next steps.
  1. Data collection: This is for your “pilot(s).” Your CSE carefully guides you through how to use your hardware, how to plan a drone mission, how to use ground control points (AeroPoints), and the list of items you need to check off to get the accurate drone survey data you’re looking for. Then, you’ll fly your first drone flight and come back with another round of questions, which your CSE will address with follow-up training sessions and a library of resources. 
  1. Data Upload: During this training session, we review the PPK workflow—how to upload data from your drone and AeroPoints to the Propeller Platform, how to set up a project, and how to apply filters
  1. Platform training: Once you’ve uploaded your first dataset, your CSE holds a fourth session to deep dive into the platform’s measurement tools that are available to you and your team. 

You and your team will learn the ins and outs of the Propeller toolbox so you can track, map, and measure with confidence. Here are some of the tools you’ll learn to master: 

Stockpile measurements in just a few clicks 

stockpile measurement gif

Cut and fill calculations you can trust 

gif showing how to do a cut fill calculation in propeller platform

Fast, simple terrain cleanups 

gif showing how to clean up survey terrain in propeller platform

Design surface and linework uploads 

working with design files gif

One-click reporting and sharing 

gif showing how to share report in propeller platform

After the four training sessions, it’s really up to you how often you engage with your CSE and what you want to discuss. Every single worksite has a unique set of objectives, which means CSEs shift their approach dynamically to best suit your needs. 

The big thing here is, no problem or uncertainty is left for you to resolve on your own

Our CSEs come from diverse, technical backgrounds, bringing a combination of industry, SaaS, and customer experience knowledge to the table, to ensure you have what you need to succeed with Propeller’s solutions.  

The best part? This personalized, web-based training is completely free. We consider training you up on the workflow, the exact settings, tools, and hardware that’ll make your drone program a success as an extension of our products.

Experts you can go to with all your questions 

Your CSE will ride in tandem with you throughout your Propeller experience, but they’re not your only source of support.

After your initial on-boarding, you’ll gain access to teams of subject matter experts that are united by one main objective: to make your life easier. These include:

  • Technical Support Engineers: Your resource for all things hardware–including drones, AeroPoints, and more.
  • Data Success Specialists: These GIS engineers oversee our drone data processing software and ensure we can deliver 3D models your site within 24 hours after you upload your data to the platform. They are also available–24/7, no matter where you are in the world–to help troubleshoot issues with your drone data, before or after processing.

Technical Support Engineers

Getting your hardware—your drone and AeroPoints—to work properly is vitally important to data collection, accuracy, and later analysis. 

This is why we’ve put a Tech Support team in place that knows everything about the hardware you’re interacting with. These are your problem-solvers; the ones you call for any and all questions related to firmware updates, restricted airspace, and handling your hardware.

screenshot of propeller help center

Propeller’s Tech Support team goes beyond reactive troubleshooting, to supply you with an entire knowledge base of proactive educational materials. Help articles fuel continued training for all users.

Data Success

Tech Support helps you collect data, but who’s guiding you through your processing questions? 

That’s where the data support team comes in—all those geotechnical gurus and photogrammetry fiends we mentioned before. This team supports customers 100% remotely.

It’s because of these hard-working people (pictured below) that we’re able to support non-technical customers and keep pace with technically-minded individuals. 

Propeller data support team

Just hiring your own photogrammetrist in house would set you back around $55,000 a year. Our experts are there to do everything your in-house resource would, completely free of charge.

Once you fly your site, you’ll submit your dataset for processing. There’s a misconception that all cloud-based processing is automated and robotic. But, to get high-quality data back consistently, we think it’s important to maintain those human checkpoints.

The most common way data scientists interact with your data is to manually mark ground control. Doing this ensures all those images you captured during your flight are tethered to static points on the earth. 

Beyond that, they’re scouring datasets for issues that could compromise data integrity, and communicating those observations back to you. 

Contact Propeller support from anywhere in the world, any day, any time zone 

Mishaps and troubleshooting needs don’t adhere to a schedule. That’s why we keep our lines of communication open every hour of every day. 

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, what time zone you’re in, or what time of day you upload a dataset or log in to the platform—there will always be someone for you to connect with. 

screenshot of propeller support chat channel

We’ve built your support system with accessibility in mind, which means we’ve created as many access points as possible, including: 

  • In-platform chat (Available 24/7)
  • Email (For data and tech support)
  • Phone (Available during US and AU office hours)
  • Video conferencing (Scheduled with your CSE)
  • Help center 
  • Video training (Scheduled with your CSE)
  • In-person training (Scheduled with your CSE and charges apply)

We get that everyone learns a little differently from one another, so we try to cater to every learning style.

So, you may be wondering what the catch is or how long until this “unlimited” support taps out. Well, there’s no catch, and access to this support system never runs out. No stipulations. No weird loopholes. We’re here to make you successful. It’s as simple as that. 

What should I do with this information? 

COVID has riddled our lives with uncertainty, changing the way we work and how we engage with our coworkers. But, it’s possible to find a silver lining.

Perhaps, you take this time to research new technologies or learn a new skill. We’re running a campaign to highlight our remote support capabilities to help keep your worksite moving forward. 

With worksites shutdown, now is the time to hunker down and lay the groundwork for a successful drone program.

We’re here to support you, so that when we come out on the other side of this pandemic, you and your team can hit the ground running. 

Part 107 Study Guide

Recommended Resources:

Photogrammetric Processing 101: To Self-Process, or to Not Self-Process?

[Webinar] Drone Survey Processing 101: To Self-Process, or to Not Self-Process?

The Ultimate Guide to PPK Drone Surveying

Get blog updates directly into your inbox

Be the first to know about Propeller's news and features