UAS LiDAR Scan for Watershed Planning

  • UAS

20 Dec 2018

Eroding gully with steep slopes, nearly impossible to survey with conventional equipment

LiDAR scan of gully in dense forrest

The location of the gully contributes to sediment loading. This sediment flow eventually is deposited into Arrowhead Mountain Lake and Lake Champlain. This buildup of sediment has come from various anthropogenic sources over the past few decades. The site’s terrain is over 60 feet deep and very steep, making traditional survey methods impossible for safe data collection. Considering the variables limiting traditional surveying methods, Stone Environmental came to ARE-AirShark for UAS services after several successful collaborations in the field. Stone recognized AirShark had the experience and equipment to safely and efficiently collect the data needed to create a topographic model which would be used in analysis.

ARE-AirShark utilized a UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) equipped with a LiDAR sensor (a Riegl Mini VUX Sensor)  to capture and post-process terrain data which ultimately assisted water resource engineers to determine the storm water remediation efforts. The LiDAR scan allowed for the reliable collection of temporal, high density data and confirmed watershed details needed for overall storm water planning. AR

E-AirSharks’s deliverables allowed Stone to use “the orthophoto to prepare map deliverables and the DTM (digital terrain model) to create a TIN surface in AutoCAD, which will be used to evaluate upland green infrastructure retrofits, and design stabilization measures for the gully. The resolution of topographic data allowed Stone to accurately delineate sub-watersheds,” said Gabe Bolin, Senior Water Resources Engineer at Stone. The data from the LiDAR scan was collected in four hours utilizing a preset mission plan which consisted of a customer debrief about deliverables prior to flight operations.

Following the completion of the project, Bolin referred to working with ARE-AirShark, “Our project included an eroding gully over 60 feet deep, with side slopes that made it dangerous to walk down, and nearly impossible to survey with conventional equipment. Working with ARE-AirShark made the collection of data at this particular site possible. The data quality was outstanding, and the team was great to work with. We won’t hesitate to use them for this type of application in the future.”

DELIVERABLES: GeoTiff, classified LAS (point cloud), Topographic Model(s), 1 ft Contours Orthomosaic



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