Hydro International | First Aerial Drone-dipping Sensors Take Off with Valeport

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SPH Engineering
November 11, 2020

Article by Hydro International

A new system for autonomous airborne hydrographic surveys has been launched by THURN Group. The THURN QuickDip system of data collection uses aerial drones to carry Valeport sensors on pre-planned survey routes to deliver an efficient and repeatable method of gathering highly accurate survey data from inaccessible or dangerous waters.

UK-based THURN Group developed the innovative QuickDip technology for inland and coastal waterways to offer a range of benefits, including rapid data collection from multiple sites of interest, repeatable map-based surveys to monitor change detection, and the ability to safely collect data from difficult-to-access and dangerous waters, as well as restricted-access waters such as reservoirs.

Planned Survey Lines

THURN's QuickDip integrated drone-based system uses a Valeport sensor, a cable, a rotocopter drone and UgCS SkyHub/True Terraine Following (TTF) hardware – from the leading software developer for unmanned aerial systems SPH Engineering. THURN’s integration of hardware and software allows the drone to fly at an accurate fixed height over water using a map-based pre-programmed autonomous survey pattern, and to dip the Valeport sensor into the water to take readings.

As Tom Hiller, general manager at THURN Group, commented, there are many options with the QuickDip technology: “Using a drone to deploy sensors has distinct advantages over a boat; it is compact as well as easy to transport and deploy. Drones can be used in any location where there is a small area for take-off and landing, near the surveyed water. What makes this new system so exciting for autonomous data collection is a drone’s ability to precisely follow planned survey lines using the map-based interface in UgCS and therefore deliver accurate, repeatable map-based surveys in previously difficult-to-access waters.” 

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