Sci Aero Group has been providing precision surveying and mapping solutions to direct the management of landscape degradation and improve agricultural productivity.
Addressing landscape degradation
Landscape degradation is an issue of national and global concern. Soil erosion due to land clearing and traditional agriculture is occurring at an order of magnitude faster than the soil’s natural formation process. To address this, farmers have been implementing a range of hard and soft engineering solutions including erosion control structures known as ‘living leaky weirs’. The structures slow the creek’s flow, spread flood waters and reinvigorate floodplains.
For example, at Mulloon in NSW, one landowner needed to stop gully erosion through a paddock to rehydrate his pastures and improve productivity. To do this, he planned to install a series of leaky weirs. In big rain events, the flood water would be slowed, reducing the gully erosion and preventing the sediment from being carried away. To find the optimal locations for the leaky weirs, the farmer needed to consider the topology, hydrology, environmental, regulatory and social factors before construction.
High precision surveying and mapping
Fine scale topographic maps at the resolution needed to identify the best location for leaky weirs across low-lying floodplains are simply not available. To address this Scientific Aerospace worked with landowner to provide an accurate and high resolution topographic map of their land.
Our survey grade drones use Post Processed Kinematic (PPK) positioning technology to provide positional accuracy up to 1.5 times the horizontal and 2.0 times vertical ground sampling distance (GSD). Unlike Real Time Kinematic (RTK), PPK processes the positioning information after the flight, not during. Data is logged on the aircraft and combined with data from the base station after the flight. As a result, there is no risk of data loss due to radio link outages.
Landscape restoration and improved productivity
After a 10 minute aerial survey of the 30 Ha paddock, Sci Aero Group provided the farmer with a detailed topographic map with 20 cm contours and 3D model of his land from. From this he could plan and measure the volume of water potentially retained by leaky weirs at selected locations. This enabled the farmer to select the optimum locations for the leaky weirs. By designing and creating a chain of ponds, plant native trees shrubs and sedges, he has since restored the landscape and greatly improve the productivity of his farm.