Drone trial

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Aerial drones are be­com­ing a fa­mil­iar sight as in­di­vid­u­als, busi­nesses, gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and or­gan­i­sa­tions tap into the tech­nol­ogy and ben­e­fits they offer.

Wim­mera Catch­ment Man­age­ment Author­ity is among this group and has started a ground-break­ing trial into the use of drones in Hor­sham to test the po­ten­tial of the tech­nol­ogy to im­prove emer­gency-re­sponse plan­ning for floods.

Drones will fly over res­i­den­tial streets along the Wim­mera River in a test to see whether they can in­crease the amount of up-to-date in­for­ma­tion com­pared with tra­di­tional sur­vey meth­ods. The drones will also cap­ture ac­cu­rate and de­tailed to­po­graphic data.

Wim­mera CMA flood­plain man­age­ment team leader Paul Fen­nell said the drones could cap­ture ac­cu­rate three-di­men­sional de­tail to a qual­ity never con­sid­ered pos­si­ble.

“Drone tech­nol­ogy is be­com­ing more and more so­phis­ti­cated, which opens up a vast range of pos­si­bil­i­ties in many fields in­clud­ing emer­gency re­sponse,” he said.

“His­tor­i­cally we have used sur­vey­ors to cap­ture floor-level in­for­ma­tion for flood plan­ning which can be la­bo­ri­ous, time-con­sum­ing and a sig­nif­i­cant cost. This par­tic­u­lar tech­nol­ogy records data we can view sim­i­lar to Google street view, but the key difference is that we can mea­sure the height of all points that we can see.”

Mr Fen­nell said the CMA was keen to test the ac­cu­racy of the drone’s al­ti­tude mea­sure­ment and to­pog­ra­phy data. “We are look­ing for­ward to see­ing if this is a more ef­fec­tive way to cap­ture floor-level in­for­ma­tion along with the to­pog­ra­phy of a par­tic­u­lar area. We will then as­cer­tain if we can use these drones for data that we can eas­ily over­lay onto flood maps, which will then help us plan more ef­fec­tively for fu­ture flood events,” he said.

Mr Fen­nell said the CMA and the firm un­der­tak­ing the flights had worked with Hor­sham Ru­ral City Coun­cil and the Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Author­ity for the trial.

He said any­one seek­ing in­for­ma­tion about the trial could call him on 5382 1544.

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