LiDAR Articles

Drone LiDAR for Flood Mapping

Byron Bay Surveying Used TrueView LiDAR to Survey the Northern Rivers in New South Wales

As seen in POSITION Magazine

The summer of 2022 delivered some exceptional rainfall to the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, this was due in large part to the La Nina weather cycle which delivered heavy flooding and resulting devastation. Towns such as Lismore were severely impacted by the ensuing floods leaving residents at great risk and suffering considerable loss.

Following repeated flooding combined with summer fires, and the resulting impact to lives, property, and infrastructure, it has become increasingly important to be able to quickly gather data that can provide insight into slope stability, bushfire risks, drainage patterns, and other risks such as flooding.

Ensuring that public areas such as roads are safe is a high priority for local councils. Recently Byron Bay Surveying contacted GeoCue Australia for help with their upcoming projects and following this adopted the TrueView 515 drone-based LiDAR system.

Post-processed LiDAR data: Terrain analysis using slope arrows for direction of the slope, and slope facet modeling.

In September Byron Bay Surveying Pty Ltd was approached by Richmond Valley Council (RVC) to assist with a major landslide event on Naughtons Gap Road, just north of Casino NSW. We needed a rapid and accurate mapping solution to capture the terrain for geotechnical analysis and planning for remediation design work.

Having worked closely with GeoCue Australia in the past, we felt confident in the technology and support required to get the data we needed in haste. Our meeting with RVC was on a Friday, by Monday morning we had a TrueView 515 and drone in the air scanning the site. By Tuesday morning, we had the colorized point clouds covering an area of 25ha in our hands ready for data extraction and plan production, much of which can be done in the LP360 Drone software. The turnaround given the size of the area was phenomenal.

Orthophoto and the LiDAR data captured from the TrueView 515 system.

My thoughts on the technology are this. As surveyors, we are all aware of the rapid rise of “aerial mapping” and the ease of buying an off-the-shelf package to deliver impressive-looking point cloud data and imagery that is entirely devoid of any spatial accuracy or quality.

Flying and mapping is easy, getting quality and efficient data takes time, experience, and patience. You can’t get good data without due care and attention but as surveyors that’s our domain and this has been very well addressed with the TrueView 515 and the LP360 Drone software that comes with this system. We used many of the great post-processing features including the QA/QC checks.

Lucas Flumm, Partner, Byron Bay Surveying

“GeoCue is at the forefront of the rise of drone-based LiDAR systems. The lowering cost of entry and easier access to high-quality LiDAR data is opening the way for surveyors to access such technology for their projects. These are serious tools built for surveying.”

After meeting with Paul Salmon, the Sales Manager for GeoCue Australia, and running the TrueView LiDAR system over our projects, I have been captured by how far the technology has come and what it offers us for the future. We do very much look forward to seeing how far we can push this technology and which other projects we can take on given our adoption of this fabulous data capture option.

GeoCue Australia includes extensive support regarding how to get the most from their LiDAR hardware and software and offers 24-hour support. In Australia please contact GeoCue Australia for more information or a trial contact [email protected].

For more information with one of our LiDAR experts.