SUAVE SiteSeer    June, 2018

Welcome to the June 2018 edition of our e-bulletin, SiteSeer.

Contents

Introduction:

Topographic Survey: River Ouse, York
Mott McDonald Bentley, Wessex Archaeology and the Environment Agency

Site Progress Record: Railway Bridge Construction, Leeds
Galliford Try

Aerial Video: Promotional Shoot, Wirral
Opus Media

Roof Inspection: 3D Modelling, Lancaster
C4 Consulting

Heritage Survey: the Roman City of Silchester
English Heritage, Wessex Archaeology

Other News in Brief

 


 

Introduction

In this edition, we’ll be revealing details of some of our most recent projects and showing how advances in UAV technology and software are helping clients to work more efficiently.

In York, for example, we’ve been conducting a topographic survey along part of the River Ouse, and at Thorpe Park in Leeds, we’ve been recording the progress of a headline-making railway bridge construction project.

We’ve been working in Merseyside, shooting aerial video footage for Wirral Well Made – a campaign supporting a £1 billion redevelopment plan for the region. In Lancaster, we’ve conducted a survey of roofs and upper walls that produced a 3D model ideal for maintenance planning.

Further south, we’ve been working on an English Heritage site in Hampshire, using a UAV to produce a photogrammetric record and 3D model of the remains of the Roman city walls at Silchester.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve recently renewed our working relationship with English Heritage / Historic England. We submitted a competitive tender for two lots of work – building survey and topographic survey – and both were accepted. This means that our long-standing record with these renowned heritage specialists will continue for another three years at least.

We hope you find this newsletter useful, but if you have any questions, or if you need any advice, please contact us on 07842 766679.

 


 

Topographic Survey: River Ouse, York

Mott McDonald Bentley, Wessex Archaeology and the Environment Agency

In recent months, we’ve made a number of visits to York, where we’ve been conducting an extensive aerial survey of land adjacent to the River Ouse.

Following torrential rain and subsequent flooding in December 2015, the Environment Agency took the decision to review and improve flood defences involving the Foss Barrier. The barrier features a gate that can be closed to prevent rising waters in the Ouse from backing up into the River Foss and flooding parts of the city. However, in 2015, these measures had proven inadequate. Having devised an improvement plan, the Agency appointed Mott McDonald Bentley to deliver the necessary upgrades, which include fitting eight new, high capacity pumps and associated control systems.

As part of this work, the company commissioned a survey of properties set close to the banks of the river. The intention was to measure the heights of thresholds and, thus, to determine their susceptibility to flooding. The work would include both a land-based and aerial survey, with Suave appointed to deliver the latter.

The use of a UAV was especially appropriate for obtaining details of inaccessible or potentially dangerous areas such as riverbanks, where human operatives on the ground or water might have been at risk.

The drone-based survey enabled us to produce an accurate 3D model and data that was subsequently combined with a hand-held laser survey conducted by Wessex Archaeology. Together, these two techniques produced a detailed survey of thousands of local properties. This will be a valuable asset to the Environment Agency and its contractors when carrying out future flood modelling work.

The aerial survey delivered an overall accuracy of better than 3cm RMSE, which was the figure specified by the client.T he survey information was subsequently used to produce detailed topographic drawings with contours and additional data points. Ultimately, it is hoped that these will be used as part of an interactive model.

 


 

Site Progress Record: Railway Bridge Construction, Leeds

Galliford Try

The construction company, Galliford Try, is currently delivering a £4.7m contract to build a 28m-span road bridge over the Leeds to York railway line. This will form part of a new Manston Lane Link Road, which is designed to connect the city of Leeds to Junction 46 of the M1. The road itself will provide improved access to Thorpe Park, which is already home to many businesses but will ultimately feature a shopping and leisure complex, offices, new homes, a public park and sports facilities.

Work on the single span bridge started towards the end of 2017. Two lines currently run under it but, designed with future growth in mind, it has been made wide enough to accommodate four. When complete, it will support a dual carriageway, together with footpaths and a cycle path.

Suave was commissioned to visit the site at intervals in order to keep a photographic record of progress and to provide footage for marketing and public information. We took photos over several months, beginning last November, and we will continue to record progress until the bridge’s completion later this year.

The site is relatively open, so it has presented few challenges. The only notable obstacle was a giant 750 tonne crane which was used to move the main bridge beams.

To date, we have captured hundreds of high resolution photographs and a large number of video sequences. Clients are increasingly requesting video for internal records, social media and other promotional purposes. As part of our service we include free 30 second taster video edits which clients have actually used for their social media campaigns, one of which you can see here:

 


 

Aerial Video: Promotional Shoot, Wirral

Opus Media

Aerial footage has long been used by video and film professionals to add a sense of grandeur to their work. Aerial video suggests high production values and it lends a cinematic feel that makes a strong visual impact on audiences. Once, it was the sole preserve of big budget film-makers but, today, new UAV and video camera technologies have made aerial video accessible – and affordable – to an ever-growing number of clients.

A good example occurred earlier this year, when Wirral Council commissioned Opus Media to produce a promotional video in support of the Wirral Well Made campaign. The video’s purpose was to showcase the variety of attractions and economic strengths of the area, and to explain the key points of a new regeneration plan that could see around £1 billion of inward investment.

The video plan called for some wide establishing shots at the beginning – ideally high quality aerial sequences that would show key areas of the Merseyside coastline. Similar sequences would also be used part way through the two-minute presentation, and again at the end.

Opus presented its requirements to Suave and, having discussed good candidate sites, we conducted a series of flights along various stretches of shoreline, as well as some inland areas.

The sequences were intercut with other footage showing daily life and local businesses at work. Although the aerial shots only represent a small proportion of the finished video, they certainly add a sense of scale and help to give it a modern, polished feel.

The use of UAVs makes this a very affordable option; in this case, the footage was secured in just a single day’s shoot. In addition to providing sequences for the initial video, it also gave the client some excellent stock footage for future use.

The video by Opus Media can be viewed here:

 


 

Roof Inspection: 3D Modelling, Lancaster

C4 Consulting

We are seeing growing demand for building surveys, roof inspection projects and associated 3D modelling work. A recent project in Lancaster illustrates the services we are increasingly being asked to provide.

Set close to the town centre, Cable Street is a stone-built property comprising 3, 4 and 5-bed student flats. Designed by Richard Gillow in 1759, the building has considerable heritage value, though it has been repeatedly modernised and upgraded to maximise its appeal to the student market.

In 2018, C4 Consulting commissioned us to undertake an aerial survey of the building to inspect the roof and upper walls. The roofs are predominantly slate, some featuring skylights. The company wanted a clear, detailed photographic record that it could use as part of its maintenance and repair plans.

The town centre location made careful planning and safety concerns key considerations but, having secured the necessary permissions, we performed the flights without a hitch. The images were of a very high quality and the client expressed great satisfaction with the results. The resolution and light conditions meant that the images would be ideal for planning repairs and scheduling future maintenance.

In addition, our data was combined with a ground-based survey to produce detailed photogrammetry drawings and a 3D building model. In future, building engineers and surveyors will be able to take accurate measurements from these digital assets. This will enhance the speed of their projects and minimise the need for further manual inspections.

 


 

Heritage Survey: the Roman City of Silchester

English Heritage, Wessex Archaeology

Silchester in Hampshire may not be as well known as some other Romano-British settlements, but it is nevertheless a site of considerable interest to heritage specialists.

The city began in the 1st century BC as Calleva, the pre-Roman homeland of the Atrebates tribe. After the Roman conquest in 43 AD, it grew rapidly and was renamed Calleva Atrebatum. It was abandoned in the 6th or 7th century but, unusually, it was not reoccupied in the medieval period. As a result, no further construction took place and its remains have lain largely undisturbed. Many of the perimeter walls survive, as do parts of the city amphitheatre. In fact, it stands as one of the best preserved Roman towns in Britain.

Today, the site is managed by English Heritage and it receives regular visits from school parties and other special interest groups.

As part of its management of the site, English Heritage commissioned Wessex Archaeology to produce a photogrammetric record and a detailed 3D model of the walls – a project that would require the use of high quality aerial photographs. The company therefore asked us to visit the site and to conduct an aerial survey of the perimeter.

Our role was to secure a collection of high resolution images that would be suitable for photogrammetry and the production of detailed plan / side-elevation line drawings. This we did, using a drone-based camera, and from the resulting images, Wessex was able to deliver the 3D model and other outputs required by EH.

 


 

Other News in Brief

Since our last newsletter, English Heritage / Historic England have appointed us to a new 3-year metric survey framework. Under it, we will provide building surveys and topographic surveys, continuing a working relationship that has run for six years already.

We’re also continuing to invest in new and improved systems. Our latest acquisition is another 6-rotor UAV, which comes equipped with a full-frame sensor and the ability to take 36 megapixel photographs. This further enhances our ability to produce images / surveys of a very high resolution and it will doubtless be put to good use in a variety of new projects this year.

 


 

Further Information:

For details of all our latest survey, construction, video, heritage, and archaeological projects, please visit our online gallery. If you have any questions or if you’d like to discuss a project of your own, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please call us on 07842 766 679 or email me at Greg@SUAVEAirPhotos.co.uk.

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