How Stable is Your Site, A Drone's Eye View

Jay Lemmerman, EIT, Project Engineer, Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, have become a popular tool used by engineering, environmental, and construction companies for site monitoring.  UAS provide real-time data before, during, and after construction, helping projects to succeed on-time and as efficiently as possible.  Wetlands Studies and Solutions (WSSI) has had success with the use of UAS for assessing the stabilization efforts on large scale sites identifying areas that need additional stabilization efforts to ensure compliance with Virginia’s ESC Minimum Standards or special permit conditions that restrict the amount of disturbed area. These assessments can also be used to determine if an area draining to perimeter controls is stable enough for the controls to be removed.  In this presentation we will discuss various assessment methods ranging from manual flights recording video of the site to pre-programmed flight paths capturing images of the same area repeatedly that can be used for these purposes. We’ll discuss pros and cons of the various methods and some of the software and hardware that can be used to improve the process.

Author Bio

Jay Lemmerman, EIT, has 13 years of experience in civil engineering including stormwater management, site plan development, site plan review and construction site inspections. He specializes in stormwater management analysis and design, erosion and sediment control plan development, land development and roadway design, and site plan review. Jay serves as Project Engineer and Task Manager for projects under WSSI's VDOT MS4 Program Implementation contract, the Virginia Department of Military Affairs Professional Engineering Services contract, DEQ Plan Review contracts, and the Spotsylvania County Civil Engineering Services contract. He is an Engineer-in-Training and a Certified Dual Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management Combined Administrator in Virginia.