Drone Deploy for water level monitoring


I would like to know if it is possible to use Drone Deploy for water level monitoring
Lets say I have a dam and make a map/3D-map in summer and than a map/3D-map in winter or after the rainy season and than I want to compare it.
Is this possible or what option do I have with Drone Deploy?

Thank you

Interesting question! There would be a few considerations here:

-Is the water still enough and are you flying at a an appropriate time so as to minimize reflectivity? Water is quite a challenge for photogrammetry due to its movement and homogeneity. Good flying conditions would be required.

-The elevation accuracy would also be affected by the movement of the the area of interest.

  • I dont know of any customers doing this currently (if you are, please chime in!) but I think this could work hypothetically, assuming a good map was made. The .las or .xzy file could be imported into another software to compare elevations. Because aerial imagery would capture the depth of the dam itself (unless you got enough of the surrounding context), you would have to start with some knowns.

Let us know if you do attempt this.


Like this?

As Neema said - the water needs to be reasonably still, but for most lakes and slow-flowing rivers on any day not too windy to fly you’ll probably be OK.

Depending on exactly what you are looking to do with the output and the required accuracy I’d probably go and mark out a few GCPs for it, too, but being a dam you can probably just use existing fixed point structures.

Definitely one for exporting to ArcGIS or similar - then you can model the hydrodynamics of the DTM…I think that’s what you are ultimately trying to do?

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I thought about using the volume calculation tool and than compare the difference. Is this possible?

We do not recommend doing this with our volume tools- assuming this is not a raised reservoir, the lack of baseline would mean there is not a comparison for depth. The drone reads the surface rather than the bottom of the lake.

Ok, but if I jut measure the difference in in the lake surface?

So you take a minimum level map and draw the volume outline for the max level and the cut gives the volume change? I like the theory! I’m not quite sure how you are going to draw the volume outline accurately, though? Is it a nice, regular shape? Surely the dam operators have a topological model to give you this information with just a level reading?