UAV Aerial Rock Slope Stabilization Image Gallery

UAV Flight Mission

  • Coordinates: not posted
  • Airspace Classification: G
  • Flight Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Obstacles: Topography, Equipment, Utilities
  • Hazards: Manned Aircraft, Wind, Wildlife

Airspace Classification

The subject property is located outside the 9.0 Km radius of the Kamloops – CYKA.  The location is located within the 9.0 Km radius of the Lytton aerodrome.  While the airspace classification for this area is Class G, unmanned Aerial Vehicle / Drone flight missions were conducted following protocols for Class E airspace for additional safety as outlined in the Canadian Aviation Regulations to fly at this location.  Please reference the Canadian Aviation Regulations and see our UAV Regulations page for more information.

Unmanned aerial vehicle flight missions at this location require special considerations.  Permission was granted by the contractor to conduct unmanned aerial vehicle flights.  Safety considerations included additional visual observers, coordination with the contractors personnel, communication with Traffic Control Personnel, work stoppages due to emergency vehicles and monitoring for manned aircraft and the general public.

3D Models: Visualization

Using 3D models constructed from UAV aerial images allows clients and engineers visualize the project and plan safety and work based on accurate data from the point clouds generated during processing.  Accurate volumetric and area measurements can be obtained from the processed imagery.

Visualization allows the client to generate site specific safety plans to ensure that personnel and the general public are safe at all times.  This also permits the client to generate more accurate job cost forecasting for shareholder reporting and project bid documents.

Accurate volumetric and area measurements assist engineers in determining an accurate scope of work.  Cost savings can be realized through these measurements.

The following 3D models are best viewed in full screen mode.  You can zoom in using the controls to see extreme detail.  Ground sampling distance on these models is approximately 0.45 cm per pixel.

UAV Flight Mission #1

Figure 1, to the left contains a 3D model of the Tank Hill Bluff rock face created from still images acquired on April 18, 2016.

The 3D model shows the areas marked for shotcrete and rock bolts, highlighted with orange and pink paint.

3D Model Notes

The 3D model is best viewed in full screen mode to see maximum detail.

3D Image Navigation Note:  Holding the <Shift> key while holding your left mouse button will allow you to pan around the image (change the centre point).

UAV Flight Mission #2

Figure 2, to the left contains a 3D model of the Tank Hill Bluff rock face created from still images acquired on May 3, 2016.

The artifacts located on the face of the 3D model are generated from the mesh hanging down the rock face.  Additional editing is required to remove the artifacts.  Alternately, a Flight Mission could be conducted prior to mesh installation.

Orthomosaic and Orthoplane Imagery


To the left is an orthomosaic image of the subject property.  This gives you an idea of the layout of the work area, and the challenges that are associated with the work.  You will notice that the rock face is nearly vertical, which is why you cannot see a great deal of detail regarding the rock face.  This image is particularly convenient for locating rock bolts at the top of the embankment.

Orthoplane Creation

After creation of the point cloud and 3D model, an orthoplane can be created on an overall perspective, or individual sections of the subject property.  Orthoplanes are very similar to orthomosaic images, except that they are acquired from varying angles relative to the model.


The image to the left represents the resulting image from the processed orthoplane.  This image has been scaled down due to file size.  Orthomosaic and orthoplane images can be very large in file size, up to and over a gigabyte depending on the surface area.

The result of the orthoplane generation is actionable data.  The client or contractor can make informed decisions and create project plans based on accurate information.

UAV Flight Mission Notes

This UAV image capture project had several challenges and safety hazards to address prior to conducting the flight mission.  The work was completed during the active construction project on the Trans Canada Highway #1.  Additional visual observers were required and communication channels were set up between the ground supervisor and the Traffic Control Personnel.  Flights were conducted during full traffic stops.

Several factors regarding safety had to be addressed.  Some of the hazards associated with the project included:

  1. Topography – rock face/mountain slopes
  2. Utilities – power lines located within 8 metres of the flight mission area (FMA)
  3. Transportation – Canadian National Railway ROW located within 20 metres of FMA
  4. Ground personnel – contractor personnel within FMA
  5. Equipment – genie lift moving within the FMA
  6. Emergency vehicles – passing through the FMA during full traffic stops

A safety meeting was conducted prior to each flight mission.  All personnel on site attended the meeting and were made aware of the hazards associated with operating a UAV within the work zone.  The safety meeting facilitated communication between all personnel.

Obstacle avoidance and the position of the sun relative to the work area made it challenging for the assistant pilot to keep track of the UAV.  Several stops were required to ensure that visual line of sight (VLOS) was maintained at all times.  This UAV flight mission was conducted successfully, and without incident.