Seahawk AP utilised a UAV / drone with a purpose of surveying the Dulas Estuary and flew 7 pre planned missions covering nearly 50 hectares at a height 0f 70m in a 5 hour period, the area was a mixture of sand, reed bed and marsh grass. 600 high resolution photographs were used from these flights to create a geo referenced ortho mosaic at 3cms per pixel and a digital surface model with an accuracy of 6 cms, (average error over the 50 hectares was 7 cms X+Y and 10 cms in the Z).
This accuracy was achieved with the help of 70 sub cm accurate ground control points (surveyed by SEACMAS) and then the same points were used to verify the processed ortho mosaic and DSM. All the processing and model creation was carried out by DTM Technologies
The aim of the project was to highlight the use of new technology and processes to carry out a ground survey over a large area. It brought together a set of skills from 3 different service providers from the North Wales region, DTM Technologies, Seahawk AP and Bangor University, working together to provide an economic solution to an otherwise time consuming process.
This is not a new technology or process, it has been used for many years. Its the advancement of the technology that has brought this process forward and it is now in reach of many industry sectors, through both price and forward thinking by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), paving the way, globally, and allowing the commercial use of small unmanned aerial systems.