Cork, 15 August 2019 – Dublin Airport is using data collected by laser scanning aircraft to accurately measure land surface elevation to help reduce the risk of flooding at the international transport hub. Serving more than 31.5 million passengers in 2018, travelling to almost 200 destinations in 43 countries, Dublin Airport is the 11th busiest airport in Europe.
The specially commissioned survey by aerial mapping company Bluesky involved the capture of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data for the entire site and surrounding area as part of a Dublin Airport Drainage Masterplan (DMP).
“As a busy international airport our airspace is unsurprisingly quite restricted making it potentially difficult for an aerial survey company to capture data,” said Dublin Airport Airfield Project Manager Martin McKee. “However, Bluesky’s expertise and extensive experience with the airport and its existing relationship with the Irish Aviation Authority, who manage Air Traffic Control, the survey was completed without issue,” he added.
Dublin Airport commissioned Bluesky to complete the LiDAR survey following a competitive tender process. Using aircraft mounted lasers Bluesky captured 50 centimetre point spaced height measurements across the complete campus and immediate vicinity. The captured height data was delivered in a variety of formats for use by the authority’s Drainage Masterplan consultants in InfoWorks ICM hydraulic modelling software.
The Bluesky data will be used to inform modelling projects which will help understand the airport’s drainage network, analyse flood risk relating to rainfall events and measure capacity in local watercourses. The Bluesky LiDAR data will also be used to model the flow of contaminants relating to aircraft de-icing an operational requirement required by safety regulations during the winter season.
“Whilst we already possessed large amounts of topographical data ranging in age, type and coverage, for the hydraulic modelling applications we required accurate, up to date and consistent data across the entire site,” continued McKee. “LiDAR was the perfect choice to achieve this and by working with Bluesky we now have a benchmark dataset for all our Drainage Masterplan modelling as well as other applications.”
In order to capture highly accurate LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data a survey aircraft equipped with a system of lasers is used. Lasers are transmitted to the ground and the time taken for the beam to be bounced back to the aircraft-mounted receivers is recorded. Using the known position of the aircraft (derived from on-board satellite positioning equipment), the time taken for the return of the laser beam and the known value of the speed of light, the distance between the aircraft and ground is calculated.
Readings can also be taken to determine the height of buildings, vegetation and other surface structures such as above ground pipelines, highways, street furniture, power lines and railway tracks.
Bluesky is one of the leading and most successful aerial survey and geographic data companies in the UK producing and maintaining seamless digital aerial photography and height data on a national scale in both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Bluesky operates the worlds most advanced airborne sensor, which comprises vertical and oblique cameras as well as a LiDAR, to create accurate and detailed virtual cities. Bluesky also operates the only LiDAR system in the world that incorporates a thermal sensor and survey grade camera. These combined with other systems puts Bluesky in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and cost-effective geospatial solutions. As well as being an established and respected aerial survey company Bluesky is also highly innovative and continually strives to develop new products and services by embracing new technology and methods. This has resulted in the development of some unique products such as the National Tree Map (NTM). These datasets underpin long term contracts with local and central governments and many major blue-chip companies from a range of market sectors including financial services, utilities, telecoms, web portals, construction and environment. Bluesky has offices in the UK, US, Republic of Ireland and a dedicated production centre in India. https://www.bluesky-world.com/