Aerial UAV / Drone Surveys

Aerial Surveys for Marine and Freshwater Ecology

Carcinus Ltd in partnership with Alauda Aerial Surveys Ltd provide a wide range of bespoke aerial survey, remote sensing, mapping and data processing services for freshwater, riparian and coastal environments. Utilising both fixed wing and multi-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platforms, Carcinus and its partners deliver high quality outputs that meet the specific accuracy and scale demanded by each application. All operations are covered under Permission for Commercial Operations (the PfCO), granted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and are fully insured.

We deliver aerial survey services throughout the UK and abroad and are experienced in undertaking UAV services in challenging environments. Our recent asset inspection surveys undertaken in the Arctic are a prime example of our ability to accommodate client needs when operating in tough conditions.

Matthew Crabb (Carcinus Ltd – Managing Director) is lead author for the JNCC’s latest Marine Monitoring Platform Guidelines on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), published June 2019. The guidelines, provide marine scientists with general guidance on the use of UAV systems for marine monitoring, with a focus on habitat mapping. The guidance also reviews the logistical and operational requirements associated with UAV / aerial surveys for marine monitoring.

The JNCC UAV guidelines are now available to download from the JNCC website – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for use in marine monitoring.

Sensefly eBee fixed wing habitat mapping drone

All UAV operations are undertaken in strict accordance with our Operations Manual, as part of our permission from the CAA to carry out Commercial Operations. All operations are fully risk assessed and conform to the require regulations and are covered by the required insurances.

Freshwater and Riparian Aerial Surveys

Through the use of UAV based survey platforms, Carcinus provide an innovative, efficient and diverse range of aerial ecological survey services for freshwater and riparian environments. Our services include:

  • Riparian and aquatic habitat mapping and monitoring.
  • Salmonid redd counts and fish spawning habitat assessment.
  • Structural and asset inspection surveys.
  • Topographic surveys for flood risk assessment.
  • Aerial surveys to support catchment-based assessments of land use and sediment, nutrient, pesticide and faecal contamination sources.
  • Aerial survey input to arboriculture surveys.
  • Multispectral imaging for crop / plant health and habitat delineation.
  • Photomosaics of fishery beats, lakes or aquatic restoration projects for marketing, engagement and monitoring purposes.
UAV derived photomosaic
UAV derived hillshade and elevation model

An example of an UAV derived high resolution orthomosaic image and Digital Surface Model (DSM). Orthomosaic images of both standard red/green/blue (RGB) and multispectral calculated indices can be provided.

Marine and Coastal Aerial Ecology Surveys

Our UAV service capability offers both a novel and cost-effective means of surveying marine environments not normally accessible or too extensive to safely and efficiently survey by traditional means. We provide the following cutting edge marine aerial survey services:

  • Enhanced Phase I (and extended Phase I) habitat surveys, enabling efficient survey of wider / harder to reach areas.
  • Monitoring of unlicensed activities such as bait digging, crab tilling and shellfish harvesting.
  • Monitoring coastal change, erosion and accretion.
  • Habitat extent monitoring, using cost effective and highly repeatable survey methodologies to enable monitoring over any temporal scale.
  • Macro-algae and saltmarsh extent and health monitoring by an unobtrusive and non-destructive means of surveying, including multispectral imaging and analysis.
  • Wildlife monitoring via aerial image and video acquisition.
Hexacopter multirotor UAV

Hexacopter multirotor UAV equipped with RTK/PPK GNSS, ensuring high positional accuracy in both navigation and sensor data. Combined with surveyed ground control, we ensure the high relative and absolute accuracy of our deliverables.

Asset Inspection Surveys

Our aerial surveyors are experienced in the aquaisition of aerial still and video imagery for the asset inspection purposes. Having delivered these services within the UK and in challenging environments, including the Arctic, we are well placed to meet our clients’ needs. We operate UAV survey service in both terrestrial and marine environments and can survey a wide range of infrastructure. Our aerial asset inspection services include:

  • Acquisition of still imagery for Structure for Motion (SfM) and photogrammetry processing.
  • High resolution videography and post processing.
  • Post processing including:
    • SfM
    • Photogrammetry
    • Coloured point clouds
    • Textured mesh models
    • Digital surface models
UAV derived asset inspection imagery

Carcinus deliver UAV / drone survey services throughout the UK and abroad. We can accommodate client needs in a wide range of challenging environments.

Outputs and Deliverables

All outputs are designed to meet our clients’ needs, ensuring the accuracy and scale are targeted to the specific requirements of the project and meets regulatory requirements. Outputs typically comprise:

  • 2D photogrammetry and photomosaics.
  • Point clouds, mesh, 3D models and BIM level modelling.
  • Digital surface and terrain models (DTM & DSM).
  • Multispectral analysis and indices.
  • Habitat maps.
  • High resolution digital still imagery and video.
  • 3D modelling processed into Virtual Reality experience.
Multi Spectral Image Analysis

Carcinus utilise a range of UAV based sensors to enable the capture of multispectral data. Multispectral data can be processed to identify and delineate the boundaries of key features, habitats or other environmental factors.

A series of GIS outputs from photogrammetry analysis in landscape

More Information

If you would like more information, please view and download our ‘Aerial Surveys’ Capability Statement, read about our recent relevant projects, or contact us.

Aerial Surveys

Aerial Surveys

Recent Projects

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