Drones or UAVs offer a safe, fast and reliable way to map and monitor large areas for environmental protection, from species identification to locating tracks used by feral animals to monitoring erosion or even spotting illegal removal of trees, sand and soil, there are many ways for drone services to improve your environmental management workflows.

Contact us now about your environmental monitoring needs, or find out more about how we can help you below.

Queensland Drones provide a range of environmental management and drone environmental monitoring services on demand, using precision UAV (drone) technologies. These technologies offer safe, fast and very cost-effective alternatives to traditional environmental monitoring compliance activities because unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can operate in places that would normally be virtually inaccessible or would take too much time and effort to survey using traditional methods. We can inspect across thick scrub, gorges, wetlands and ridges, delivering live video feed to guide exploration and high quality photography and video to inform decision-making.

uav environmental monitoring

Developing environmental impact assessments

Aerial mapping and 3D modelling of large areas can help speed up and accurately inform the development of environmental impact assessments, reducing costs and operational complexity while maintaining detail-level accuracy and the ability to export data into assessment systems.

Drone aerial surveys produce precise and varied outputs to inform environmental impact assessment

UAVs or drones offer a number of potential benefits in the EAS development process:

  • High spatial resolution
  • Mapping of large areas, with targeting of small areas
  • Geo-referenced data that can be overlaid into GIS systems
  • Non-intrusive, safe and fast data collection
  • Ease of access to remote, inaccessible and difficult terrain
  • Less risk to personnel and equipment

The 3D model below shows an erosion gully in the Mary River catchment which is gradually widening and deepening due to constant erosion of a sodic sub-soil layer. This model was developed with fine elevation contour data and cross-sectional data to inform mitigation design. Click the play button (white triangle) to load the model, which you can then navigate using your mouse.

Monitoring environmental changes

High definition aerial imaging and orthographic mapping over time can help to identify and document changes occurring in the natural environment in very fine detail, identifying areas requiring closer inspection and raising alerts where needed.

Riverine flood monitoring and assessment

Aerial mapping and modelling can help provide the fine topographical detail required to visualise water flows and flood risks across large areas and inform the planning process for flood mitigation and soil erosion management programs. Our aerial mapping can also help identify pollution and its sources.

Coastal erosion management

Beaches and coastal dunes are constantly at risk of damage and erosion during storms and cyclones. Comparison of baseline imagery and orthographic models against post-storm data can support quick and accurate assessment of coastal erosion impacts and inform recovery programs.

Our environmental monitoring and management services

Our environmental management and monitoring survey services range from monitoring erosion in farmland and catchments to counting wildlife and pest species in largely inaccessible areas. We provide our services to government agencies, environmental researchers, scientists and local councils who have traditionally used terrestrial survey and photography or helicopter imaging services.

The benefits of our environmental management and monitoring services include:

  • Flexible – we can launch our UAVs when and where they’re needed (within CASA regulations and with reasonable weather conditions) without having to file complicated flight plans or wait for satellites to pass over.
  • Convenient – our imagery is up to the minute, which is critical for time-sensitive surveys and monitoring projects, especially those that use the same flight plan over time.
  • Cost-effective – UAV survey and photographic techniques are fast and low cost, able to be launched and completed in hours and at a fraction of the cost of aircraft or helicopter surveys.
  • Safe – UAV operations avoid putting your staff at risk, easily overcoming issues that would make ground surveys difficult like dense vegetation, heights and rough terrain.
  • Discrete – our UAVs are quiet, battery-powered and make very little noise once launched, so they don’t greatly disturb wildlife or animals on the ground.

We use a combination of UAV technologies including fixed wing UAVs that can cover large areas in a very short period, and multi-copters than can operate at very low altitudes and in tight terrain. We use both infrared and visual photographic techniques as well as medium and ultra-high definition video as required. We can, if needed, also apply thermal imaging technologies.

Our environmental management and monitoring services include:

  • Animal monitoring, location, tracking and counting
  • Tracking of migration routes and territories
  • Monitoring of poaching and wildlife theft activities
  • Mapping hiking trails and fire fighting trails
  • Surveys of nests, particularly high in the tree canopy
  • Monitoring of vegetation cover, growth and decline
  • Plant species identification and mapping
  • Fire detection, tracking and monitoring
  • Storm, cyclone and flood damage and assessment
  • Early identification of contamination from run-off
  • Detection and monitoring of deforestation and illegal logging
  • Monitoring and measurement of planting and re-planting projects
  • Mapping of forests and other natural habitats
  • Monitoring and time-comparison of coastal sand erosion
  • Terrain modelling (3D, orthographic and topographic mapping)
  • Modelling and mapping of rivers, creeks and waterways
  • Simulating water flows using topographic and elevation mapping
  • Monitoring for regulatory enforcement (e.g. protected areas)
  • Large scale project planning and site assessment

The data captured by our UAVs can be exported to land management applications like Ag Leader SMS and AgPixel, to mapping applications like DroneDeploy or Pix4D, or to computer aided design packages like AutoCad and ArcGIS to create 3D point clouds, mesh maps, volume maps, 3D tagged RGB and TIFF images, overlays and more. We can even export our data to as KML files for Google Earth and other global atlas systems.

Contact us now to discuss your environmental monitoring needs or to obtain an obligation-free quote.