Digital Elevation model at Nimbus Basin on the Lower American River.

Using state of the art photogrammetric software and high accuracy ground control points, cbec’s unmanned aerial systems are able to map large areas in a fraction of the time of traditional surveys.

Collected data is processed into a topographic point cloud with high horizontal and vertical accuracy. Digital elevation models rendered from aerial surveying can be used to help build 2D and 3D hydraulic models in addition to providing cut/fill volume analysis on construction sites. Example of a point cloud viewer

Orthorectified imagery of Hallwood project on the Lower Yuba River near Marysville, California.

We are excited to announce our latest field technology and expansion to our UAV services. cbec recently acquired multi-spectral images from our UAV to monitor restoration plantings along Cordova Creek in Sacramento. This is our award winning project that was completed in 2016. Near the center of the images the transition from phase one plantings (2015), and phase two plantings (2016), can be seen. Using a ratio of the plants spectral characteristics plant health can be tracked using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). In the first image a false color composite is shown, where near-infrared light is displayed as red. In the second image calculated NDVI values are shown, where green = healthy vegetation. From the ground we can see the vegetation is flourishing but we can now collect data to prove it. This technology can not only be used to determine vegetation health, but also the types of vegetation, including differentiating between native and non-native vegetation through image calibration.

Remote controlled boat outfitted with acoustic doppler current profiler (ADCP) for bathymetric surveying.

Deep, swift moving flows frequently prevent traditional walking surveys. These waterways can also be difficult to access, particularly with traditional manned vessels equipped with echo sounding equipment.

cbec’s remote controlled boat equipped with depth sounding technology, dynamically coupled to survey-grade GPS, is compact, easy to transport, and can effectively collect bathymetric survey data in these more challenging locations.

hydrone rcv bathymetric survey

Remote Controlled Bathymetric Boat survey on Dry Creek in Sonoma, California.

Construction Monitoring on Sacramento Bar, Sacramento, California

Previously, aerial site monitoring was exorbitantly expensive and typically limited to larger projects. Now, cbec can efficiently and effectively perform aerial monitoring of projects with UAS.

Ortho-rectified aerial imagery can be collected before, during and after a project to track progress, ensure proper design, and observe a project’s condition through time. Furthermore, high resolution photos and videos can be used for marketing and management purposes. cbec are also developing multi-spectral imaging methods that can be used for vegetation characterization.

Aerial panorama of construction at Cordova Creek, Sacramento, California.

Flood monitoring on Dry Creek in Natomas, Sacramento, California.

Observing flooding during and after events is an important piece in understanding how systems respond to storm events and if they put life or infrastructure at risk.

Additionally, a majority of the changes that happen in most systems occurs during significant flood events. Water levels can rise quickly in some watersheds so our UAS is always charged and we are ready to deploy on a moment’s notice. Observing a flood from the air allows us to safely monitor and survey systems while they are flooding. High water mark (HWM) data can also be collected using our UAS which provides valuable calibration and validation data for hydrodynamic models.

Flood monitoring on the Lower American River at Paradise Bend, Sacramento, California.