UAVs are a proven tool for effective flood management. Flying at altitudes between ground level and 400ft, they offer us a greater perspective and depth of imagery. At the same time they allow us to produce accurate and high resolution surveys of areas we would never be able to survey on foot. UAVs provide a way for us to assess more accurately the impacts of climate change and flooding, such as those caused by the exceptionally wet weather during winter 2013/14.
Our aerial surveys can work as a tool in flood management in a number of ways including:
■ Georeferenced aerial photography, from which flooding extents can be identified and digitised to high levels of precision and accuracy
■ Inspections of areas made inaccessible by flooding, including thermal inspections to check the serviceability of assets
■ Live video feed from the UAV for all imaging types to gain real time evidence
■ High resolution elevation models for accurate predictions of flood extent thresholds and flow accumulation analysis. Elevation models can also be used to accurately measure changes to the physical land, such as landslides.
■ Multispectral imaging to conduct assessments such as water extent mapping, soil moisture analysis and vegetation health analysis
■ Timelapse imagery; repeat imagery captured from the exact same position to portray the changing flood extent and impacts over time