Drones for Utilities and Energy

Drone LiDAR Mapping for a Dam Failure Study in Brazil

Using drone LiDAR to help analyze dam failure scenarios

Drone LiDAR from Microdrones ensures high accuracy, efficiency, and safety.

Measure, a distributor of Microdrones, specializing in conventional topography, laser scanning, aerophotogrammetry, drone LiDAR, georeferencing and geospatial data, was tasked with carrying out a high-precision survey in a mining complex with three dams, totaling an area of 10 square kilometers in Minas Gerais, Brazil, within a week, to help analyze dam failure plans.

To get the job done efficiently, they used the mdLiDAR1000 to collect the LiDAR data required to create a highly accurate digital terrain model and meet project deadlines. CLICK HERE to view the point cloud in our Drone LiDAR datasets.

Click on the image above to see the point cloud of a portion of the survey area.

Planning the mission

The Measure team planned 30 flights, over the course of three days, with various takeoff and landing locations to complete the project with the mdLiDAR1000. Pre-processing in the mdInfinity environment made it possible to produce the final products effortlessly.

View of the dam complex in the focus area of the study in Minas Gerais, Brazil. (Google Image)

Data processing and visualization

Using data collected in the field with the mdLiDAR1000, Measure was able to provide its client with a topographic survey, and a classified pointcloud to create a high resolution surface and terrain model. The trajectory processing and data georeferencing modules in mdInfinity were used to process the data.

In the Microdrones Drone Lidar point cloud data set, precision enhancement was also applied to the data to reduce the noise and remove outliers. mdInfinity offers a number of data processing modules to help to transform raw survey data into actionable insights.

A closer view of the dam point cloud. Click the image to go to the viewer

Dam Break Study

The main objective of the dam failure study is to characterize the different hypotheses of failure of the analyzed dams, and the effects of this failure, in terms of the resulting flood in the areas located downstream of the structures. To achieve this objective, a hydraulic model (software) is used, simulating the propagation of floods arising from the dam failure, also using the module for generating the failure hydrographs. The results obtained are the maps of the flood basin of the different rupture scenarios, and also the characterization of the hydrographs (transit times, maximum flows, etc.) propagated to the cities downstream of the reservoirs. To obtain accurate results, the digital terrain model survey needs to be as accurate and precise as possible. In this project, the objective was to obtain a consistent precision of 10 cm in every altimetric model.

“We are pleased to hear of the success of this dam mapping project,” said Robson Augusto, Sales Manager for Brazil at Microdrones. “Considering the importance and necessary security of the data generated in this type of study, we are honored to see our distributors making the most of the potential of Microdrones technology and using our drone survey equipment to not only save time but increase efficiency and return on investment for its customers.”

Measure has distributed Microdrones systems to Brazil since July 2020. They frequently operate in major mines in the state of Minas Gerais, already completing more than 250 hours of surveying with Microdrones systems.

For more information on using Microdrones to streamline the work of your Mapping projects, CLICK HERE to speak with one of our professional representatives.