EXPERIENCES OF UAV SURVEYS APPLIED TO ENVIRONMENTAL RISK MANAGEMENT
Keywords: UAV, Photogrammetry, Laser, Risk analysis
Abstract. In this paper the results of some surveys carried out in an area of Apulian territory affected by serious environmental hazard are presented. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are emerging as a key engineering tool for future environmental survey tasks. UAVs are increasingly seen as an attractive low-cost alternative or supplement to aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry due to their low cost, flexibility, availability and readiness for duty. In addition, UAVs can be operated in hazardous or temporarily inaccessible locations, that makes them very suitable for the assessment and management of environmental risk conditions. In order to verify the reliability of these technologies an UAV survey and A LIDAR survey have been carried outalong about 1 km of coast in the Salento peninsula, near the towns of San Foca, Torre dellOrso and SantAndrea( Lecce, Southern Italy). This area is affected by serious environmental risks due to the presence of dangerous rocky cliffs named falesie. The UAV platform was equipped with a photogrammetric measurement system that allowed us to obtain a mobile mapping of the fractured fronts of dangerous rocky cliffs. UAV-images data have been processed using dedicated software (AgisoftPhotoscan). The point clouds obtained from both the UAV and LIDAR surveys have been processed using Cloud Compare software, with the aim of testing the UAV results with respect to the LIDAR ones. The total error obtained was of centimeter-order that is a very satisfactory result. The environmental information has been arranged in an ArcGIS platform in order to assess the risk levels. The possibility to repeat the survey at time intervals more or less close together depending on the measured levels of risk and to compare the output allows following the trend of the dangerous phenomena. In conclusion, for inaccessible locations of dangerous rocky bodies the UAV survey coupled with GIS methodology proved to be a key engineering tool for the management of environmental risks.