Home > UAV Aerial Services Blog > Canadian UAV Solutions provides Landfill Volumetric Monitoring

Case Study: Environmental Services Division

City of Cornwall



City of Cornwall – E.S.D.

Carl D. Goodwin, P Eng., M.Sc.



To perform on-going volumetric calculations of the City of Cornwall’s landfill active area by comparing surface changes quarterly. To digitize the historical CAD drawings to confirm as built final grades, determining remaining lifespan of the site. And to create digital fly throughs of the site for promotional purposes.

Scope of work:

Final deliverables included:

1m DTM Contours, 3m Point Grid, 2.5cm Orthographic Mosaic, Virtual Fly Through Videos, 3D Google Earth Model, Digitization of historical final grade plan, Volumetric calculation of final grade vs current conditions, quarterly volumetric calculations on active area.

Data was to be compiled and showcased in various GIS, CAD, and visualization software for engineering and presentational purposes.


Conditions and Requirements:

Topographic Accuracy requirements were not as strict as the volume calculations did not have to be survey grade. Surface data was to be within 10cm on bare earth and 30cm in forested areas.

Two models were required, one DSM for the presentational fly through and 3D Google Earth Models. While another DTM which required the clearing of vegetation and processing facilities on the site.

Canadian UAV solutions was to provide 10 control points throughout the area as well as several check points.


Methodology and Timeline:

An Aerial surveyor, and ground survey technician, were deployed with an eBee+ RTK, Propeller Aeropoint, and Emlid Reach 2.

Canadian UAV Solutions survey technician laid and marked 10 aerial ground control points, distributed throughout the area which took just over an hour. Meanwhile, the Aerial surveyor prepared the eBee+ for launch. Taking approximately 30 mins to set up, deploy the Aeropoint, and begin final launch SOP’s. A single flight was performed by a Fixed Wing UAV, data collection took approximately 1 hour.





Another hour for target and equipment clean up, and the field work was finished in just over 3 hours.

Processing took a GIS Photogrammetrist 3 days to generate, edit and QA/QC the 3D model. This included digitizing the historical CAD PDF Drawing from which to compare. Another day was spend creating the digital fly throughs of the site.

In total from site survey to final products, the data was delivered within a week.



Canadian UAV Solutions were able to provide surface data in a fraction of the time compared to traditional aerial or ground based surveys. An additional benefit was that the data collection did not impede operations, maintaining site productivity.

QA/QC reports a RMSE on check points found on bare earth were no greater than 6cm on the Z and 3cm on the XY, well within the accuracy requirements of this project.

Should your Environmental Services be open to exploring a more efficient mode of data collection for site lifespan tracking, contact Canadian UAV Solutions today, and we will be happy to answer your questions.



“We found Canadian UAV Solutions to be very professional.  Their turn around from quote to finished product was very quick.  We have used their work not only to evaluate the volume of our landfill.  We have identified volume that could be recovered that would have taken us years to find.  In addition, we have used the video to create promotion and education material in our landfill promotion work.”


Carl D. Goodwin, P Eng., M.Sc.

City of Cornwall, Division Manager, Environmental Services Division