Beach Leveling Using a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS): Problems and Solutions
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Author/sContreras de Villar, Francisco; García, Francisco J.; Muñoz Pérez, Juan José; Contreras de Villar, Antonio; Ruiz Ortiz, Verónica; Lopez-Garcia, Patricia; García López, Santiago; Jigena Antelo, Bismarck
DepartmentCiencias de la Tierra; Ciencias y Técnicas de la Navegación y Construcciones Navales; Física Aplicada; Ingeniería Industrial e Ingeniería Civil
SourceJ. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(1), 19
The size and great dynamism of coastal systems require faster and more automated mapping methods like the use of a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This method allows for shorter intervals between surveys. The main problem for surveying using low-altitude digital photogrammetry in beach areas is their visual homogeneity. Obviously, the fewer the homologous points defined by the program, the lower the accuracy. Moreover, some factors influence the error performed in photogrammetric techniques, such as flight height, flight time, percentage of frame overlap (side and forward), and the number of ground control points (GCPs). A total of 72 different cases were conducted varying these factors, and the results were analyzed. Among the conclusions, it should be highlighted that the error for noon flights is almost double that for the early morning flights. Secondly, there is no appreciable difference regarding the side overlap. But, on the other side, RMSE increased to three times (from 0.05 to 0.15 m) when forward overlap decreased from 85% to 70%. Moreover, relative accuracy is 0.05% of the flying height which means a significant increase in error (66%) between flights performed at 60 and 100 m height). Furthermore, the median of the error for noon flights (0.12 m) is almost double that for the early morning flights (0.07 m) because of the higher percentage of grids with data for early flights. Therefore, beach levelings must never be performed at noon when carried out by RPAS. Eventually, a new parameter has been considered: the relationship between the number of GCPs and the surface to be monitored. A minimum value of 7 GCP/Ha should be taken into account when designing a beach leveling campaign using RPAS.