On Thursday the 21st of January the innovation project “Dike monitoring with Flying Sensors” was concluded with a meeting at the head office of “Wetterskip Fryslân” (the water board of Friesland). During the afternoon the results of the Dike monitoring project, which had a duration of one and a half year, were presented by FutureWater, HiView and project partner Kavel10. The presentation was attended by employees of different departments of Wetterskip Fryslân, representatives of several other water boards and a representative of the province of Friesland.

The following applications of Flying Sensors in Dike monitoring were investigated in the project:

  • Determination of dike elevation
  • Regular dike inspection
  • Inspection during calamities, like drought periods

For the determination of dike elevation Flying Sensor images were processed to digital elevation models. For the pilot area near Goingarijp also a 3D model was created. During the meeting a demonstration of this 3D model was given. For a real 3D experience the 3D model can be viewed with a Google Cardboard.

During the presentation the possibilities to actually apply Flying Sensors in the daily management of the 3,300 km of dikes that are within the management area of Wetterskip Fryslân were discussed. From the project results and the discussion it became clear that the deployment of Flying Sensors currently mainly has added value in specific areas where problems are suspected, where frequent monitoring is required and in inaccessible areas. This is mainly a result of the legal restriction which requires the Flying Sensor to be within 500 m of the pilot during the flight. Despite this restriction there are still many possibilities for applying Flying Sensors in Dike monitoring, for example to monitor the speed with which a newly constructed dike is subsiding.

Next to discussing the Flying Sensor applications that were investigated in the project also new ideas for possible Flying Sensor applications in dike monitoring were brought in. Promising applications are the monitoring of vegetation growth in nature friendly stream banks and seepage detection with a thermal camera. Furthermore the monitoring of algal blooms, taking water samples and single point inspection to collect prove of an environmental offense are possible future applications of Flying Sensors in water management.

3D model of the pilot area near Goingarijp