CASE STUDY: Canal Monitoring

Monitoring the shoreline along canals is a crucial activity to ensure the safety of local dwellers and undertake effective asset maintenance, such as retaining walls, jetties and pontoons. This can be an expensive and time consuming task if carried out using traditional inspection methods. To offer our clients with a viable and cost-effective alternative, Scout Aerial has developed a workflow that combines data collected from remotely piloted aircraft and photogrammetry software to precisely map the condition of canals, while causing minimum disruption to the community around the sites.


CLIENT: Local Government Infrastructure Services (LGIS) / Gold Coast City Council

LOCATION: Queensland, Australia

SERVICES: Aerial survey of a 3.7 Km shoreline stretch to produce orthomosaics and  digital terrain models (all vegetation and objects removed, both inland and over water)


Scout Aerial was engaged to survey 3.7 Km of water canals in a densely populated neighbourhood and map the embankments between -0.6 metres and +1.6 metres above sea level. Accuracy required by the client was set at +/- 50 mm (horizontal and vertical).

This project required strong planning and risk mitigation from the initial stages. The first decision to be made was in regard the most suitable aircraft for the mission, so as to ensure safety and a low risk profile over neighbourhood. A small, lightweight fixed wing was our choice, allowing us to fly with minimum noise and risk to people and local assets.

Another challenge was to select the best time for the flights. Due to the required embankment coverage, flying during low tides was mandatory. Yet, it was also necessary to avoid busy hours and keep the operation as safe as possible within the neighbourhood.

Once all data was finally collected, photogrammetry routines were applied to produce the required deliverables. Point clouds were heavily processed to remove more than 200 jetties/pontoons and a similar number of stationary water vehicles, leading to precise orthomosaics and digital terrain models that would allow the client to plan scheduled maintenance and ensure compliance.

Raw point cloud
Digital Terrain Model over orthomosaic
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