Aspect Land and Hydrographic surveys of Irvine, Scotland, have for a considerable time now been integrating the use of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) drones and multibeam sonar in the coastal and bathymetric sectors resulting in rapid and cost effective surveying of near shore features.
This combination of technologies uses sophisticated softwares to process images taken during a typical flight of 40mins with a Trimble UX5 Aerial Imaging Rover, in combination with the seabed profile from a R2Sonic 2022 multibeam Sonar System and Applied Acoustics Boomer sub bottom profiler. The UX5 was selected as the best platform for the aerial imaging because of its 50 min flight duration and increased flight stability in the turbulent coastal environment, these capabilities allowed the survey deliverable to be optimized in the short window available at MLWS tide. The UX5 aerial imaging rover delivers high resolution topographic data in the form of a dense point cloud and an orthophoto, typically 3-5cm resolution, of areas that are not possible to reach on foot and dangerous to reach by boat, while the vessel delivers a bathymetric and sub-bottom survey of the areas which are permanently under water.
Recently, Aspect Land and Hydrographic surveys have been asked to conduct fixed wing UAV surveys using the Trimble UX5, over several locations, including those which are in areas that might normally be considered No-Fly zones for conventional aircraft.