September, 2012

SUAVE SiteSeer    September, 2012

Welcome to the September 2012 edition of our e-bulletin, SiteSeer.

In the following short articles, you’ll find details of aerial photography projects using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and new technologies that are driving both quality improvements and cost savings.

In this issue, we’ll look at our recent survey of the Jurassic Coast on behalf of World Heritage, at the excavation of Worsley New Hall by the Centre for Applied Archaeology, and at our successful attempt to produce a detailed photographic record of bridge building works at Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire.

More briefly, we’ll also reveal how widely our aerial photographic services are now being used – by everything from Premier League football clubs to independent film makers and festival organisers.

All these recent projects point to the inescapable conclusion that customers are now much better informed about the benefits and the potential uses of UAV-based photography. Offering the potential to capture highly detailed images, with minimal environmental impact, with fewer restrictions and at a fraction of the cost of using conventional aircraft, UAV technology is a tool that is readily available and affordable for professionals and organisations of all kinds.

If you’d like to see what we can do for you, please contact us on 07842 766679.


Contents

Worsley New Hall Sowerby Bridge Monmouth Beach Etihad Stadium

Aerial Survey of Worsley New Hall
Centre for Applied Archaeology

Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire
I & H Brown

Monmouth Beach Survey, Lyme Regis
Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team

News in Brief

 


 

Aerial Survey of Worsley New Hall
Centre for Applied Archaeology

Built in Salford between 1840 and 1845, Worsley New Hall was a Gothic style mansion designed by the architect Edward Blore. It comprised a three story main block with separate wings for family and servants, as well as an impressive turreted tower. Recognised as an outstanding example of Elizabethan style architecture, it was visited by monarchs including Queen Victoria and Edward VII, but it also found its way into the history books by serving as a hospital during the First World War and as temporary quarters for evacuees from Dunkirk during the Second World War. However, in 1943, it suffered severe fire damage and was demolished just six years later.

In 2011, Salford University’s Centre for Applied Archaeology was commissioned by Peel Investments to carry out an archaeological investigation of the site and work began with a survey of all the surviving structures. Subsequent excavations then determined that a large number of basement rooms were virtually intact and in May 2012, a community archaeology project was launched which enabled local schools and other groups to play a part in the dig. Prior to work in the basement, SUAVE was asked in to provide a detailed aerial photographic record of the site.

 


 

Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire
I & H Brown

In September 2011, I & H Brown’s Civil Engineering Division was commissioned to undertake a series of infrastructure works for the Copley Valley Regeneration Scheme at Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire. This design and build project comprised improvements to nearby roads (including widening and traffic signals), the construction of a new bridge over both the River Calder and the Hebble navigational canal, and the construction of an additional, double span bridge over the Calder. The total works package also included many other elements but it was with respect to the double span bridge that SUAVE was brought in to carry out a photographic survey.

The planned project duration was 33 weeks and, during this time, SUAVE made two visits – the first to capture work in progress and the second to document the bridges in their finished state. The high resolution photographs enabled the client to compile a very detailed record of the completed works and were suitable for use in the company’s promotional and reference materials.

 


 

Monmouth Beach Survey, Lyme Regis
Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team

In March 2012, SUAVE submitted a successful tender for a project that would entail producing an extensive photographic record of Monmouth Beach near Lyme Regis, which is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. In particular, the World Heritage Team required a very high resolution baseline aerial survey of the wave-cut platforms along the beach, which have been the subject of several significant failures in recent years. The survey was required to document any changes and, by capturing photographs of a sufficient resolution, to enable geologists to carry out a detailed analysis of cracks and faults that might otherwise be difficult to discern.

During a three day site visit in June, SUAVE obtained a large number of high resolution images from a height of just 20 feet – an altitude that would be unfeasible for conventional manned aircraft. This close proximity to the subject, combined with the use of a high resolution camera and an advanced UAV, enabled the client to secure images of exceptional clarity – one pixel equating to just 2mm x 2mm of surface area. The resulting data, which will be stitched together into a large photographic mosaic, has already proved to be enormously useful to the team, which was led by Dorset County Council’s Earth Science Manager, Richard Edmonds. The images, which show the rock formations in greater detail than ever before, have enabled the team to advance and explore a number of theories concerning the failure of the platforms, and the finished survey will certainly inform further investigations, which are ongoing.

 


 

News in Brief

Despite including one of the wettest British summers on record, the first part of 2012 has been an immensely busy time for us and, in addition to carrying out the work described previously, we have also undertaken a wide spectrum of other projects.

Construction-related surveys included new building work on the new Kendal Auction Mart in Cumbria; new installations by the Eric Wright Group at Hollingworth Lake in Rochdale and Ogden Water Reservoir near Halifax; and a flood alleviation scheme in Banbury carried out on behalf of Morrisons Construction / Galliford Try plc. This was just the latest in a long series of flood alleviation schemes carried out by Morrisons, which has helped to protect many British towns and villages against the risk of inundation.

MordenElsewhere, in Manchester, we were commissioned by the consulting engineers Arup to undertake a survey of the roof of Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium. The roof is supported by twelve masts, which are connected to the structure and to the ground by a system of cables and rigid metal rods. As part of the roof’s ongoing maintenance, it is important that all these components are inspected on a regular basis and so the client asked us to undertake some photographic inspection work as a trial exercise to determine whether UAV photography may be suitable for this purpose. Using a combination of high resolution photographs and HD video, we were able to provide detailed aerial photographs of the condition of a number of masts and also of the underside of the roof, and to do all this in a way that was both safe and very cost effective. A few sample photos here.

MordenOur work in the archaeological field has also continued steadily and one of our most recent projects was an aerial survey of Seven Lows Round Barrows – a Bronze Age cemetery located near Winsford in Cheshire. Having been badly damaged by ploughing, they were the subject of a recent dig by the Habitats and Hillforts Landscape Partnership Scheme and photographs from our visit can be found here.

Other notable projects this year have included a stint flying (and supposedly crashing!) a model helicopter as part of a short 10 minute feature for an independent film maker, and photographing the visitors to this year’s Camper Jam festival – a popular gathering of VW camper van enthusiasts that takes place every year at Weston Park near Telford.

 


 

Further Information:

For details of all our latest heritage, construction 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.

P.S. Please feel free to forward a link to this page to your friends and colleagues!

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