CREATION OF TERRAIN AND ELEVATION MODELS WITH DRONES

Drones lend themselves very well to the collection of high-quality data for terrain and elevation models. The experts at SPECTAIR not only perform aerial surveys of open-cast mining systems, dumps, roads and other surfaces with drones, but are also able to analyse the data collected and produce two-dimensional or three-dimensional terrain models or elevation models according to the customer’s preference. Terrain and elevation models are suitable among others for hydrological modelling, calculations as regards surface or volume and other applications, for example, in the fields of town planning and the construction of landscapes and roads.

DISADVANTAGES ASSOCIATED WITH TERRESTRIAL SURVEYS

 

Terrestrial measurements via a tachymeter to create 3D terrain models are time-consuming and often lead to results with a low information density and an increased inaccuracy potential due to a coarsely meshed grid image recording. In addition, the time needed to complete terrestrial surveys results in comparatively high costs. 3D terrain models are, however, well suited to implement, for example, hydrological modelling, calculations as regards surface and volume, and many other applications based on topographical data.

 

Drone-supported aerial photographs as the basis for 3D terrain models

The use of drones has many advantages when creating aerial photographs for two-dimensional or three-dimensional elevation models. Pilots produce overlapping aerial photographs with the camera drones used by SPECTAIR, from which three dimensional terrain models can be produced with the help of photogrammetric analysis algorithms. Based on the 3D models, the volume of the excavation of an open-cast mine can be ascertained from dumps and other positive and negative land forms. Three dimensional terrain models are also becoming increasingly important in the field of town planning or during the construction of landscapes and roads.

USE OF STATE-OF-THE-ART LIDAR SCANNERS

 

As an alternative to the classical photogrammetric recording of terrain surfaces, SPECTAIR also offers the use of LiDAR scanners (Light Detection and Ranging). An active sensor must be accessed to obtain information concerning the ground structure beneath overgrown surfaces. A laser scanner is an ideal way to do this. Although the information density (point cloud) is less than that for the photogrammetric recording, unlike these ground points can even be detected beneath the vegetation by registering multiple echoes with the active sensor.

 

Areas of application for the LiDAR scanning

The method is particularly suitable for the field of archaeology, but also for hydrological modelling and similar applications. Not only digital terrain models (DTMs) can be created with the help of LiDARs, but also precise digital elevation models (DEMs).

SERVICES: CREATION OF 3D TERRAIN MODELS WITH DRONES

 

Surveying engineers, geographers and other experts working in the fields of geodesy and geomatics work at SPECTAIR. The expert staff at SPECTAIR is responsible for planning and managing projects in the field of geographical information, the aerial surveying of terrain and the creation of aerial photographs and two- and three-dimensional terrain or elevation models with the appropriate GIS software.

 

EXAMPLES: 3D TERRAIN MODELS WITH DRONE PHOTOGRAPHS

 

  • Building models
  • Terrain models
  • Models of dumps, pits, mines (volume balancing and surface calculations)
  • Adjusted elevation models
  • Landfill models
  • Reduction models
  • and many more

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