RAB Showcased in NCE Article on the Use of Drones for Flood Defence Inspections

The latest edition of New Civil Engineer includes a lengthy article entitled: “Could drone surveys replace on-ground flood defences inspections?” which was written by Sotiris Kanaris in conjunction with several members of the RAB Flood Risk Management team.

RAB have used drones in several recent client projects, including for the Office of Public Works in Ireland. Our experiences on this project are the focus of the article, which takes a wider look at the potential for this technology working alongside traditional on-ground inspections.

The first few paragraphs of the article are included below, followed by a link to the full digital article on the New Civil Engineer website (subscription required):

Could drone surveys replace on-ground flood defences inspections?

June 2024, by Sotiris Kanaris

In recent years, infrastructure owners such as Network Rail and National Grid have invested in drones to assist with asset inspection. Looking at the increasing use of this technology, Ireland’s Office of Public Works (OPW) decided to investigate the extent to which this technology could be used to inspect flood defence embankments.

“Traditional [on-ground] asset inspection can be seen as quite resource intensive,” says flood asset inspection specialist RAB Consultants managing director Russell Burton.

It involves inspectors driving to a specific location and walking along the embankments to analyse their condition. An inspection using a drone entails a drone pilot carrying out a flight on a predetermined route to collect camera footage, which is then reviewed by an accredited visual asset inspector.

OPW awarded RAB Consultants and drone specialists Team UAV a contract to compare on-ground investigations and drone surveys in relation to data capture, cost, time and health and safety.

A 54km network of embankments between Limerick and Shannon on Ireland’s west coast was selected for the project. A drone was flown over the embankments at a maximum height of 30m at a speed of approximately 4m/s. Its camera produced 30 frames per second videos at 1080 pixel resolution.

Team UAV’s specialist software was then used to compose an interactive map of the route by combining still frames taken by the drone.

Full article available here: Digital Magazine: June 2024 | New Civil Engineer

RAB deliver a wide range of Flood Risk Management services for private clients, commercial businesses, and public sector organisations. More information is available here on our website, or you can get in touch for an informal discussion on your specific project by email to enquiries@rabconsultants.co.uk or call our head office in Lichfield on 0330 223 6475.