Case Study: Bay Sands Drainage

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Canadian UAV Solutions Case Study:

Bay Sands Subdivision Drainage

Case Study: Bay Sands Drainage Topo


Paul Hauser

R.J. Burnside and Associates Ltd.


Scope of work:

First phase: 80 Hectares, Orthographic Image 5cm, 3m DTM, 1m Contours

Second Phase: Additional 35 Hectares tying into first phase, Orthographic image 5cm, 3m DTM, 1m Contours


To identify drainage and topography for a new subdivision in Wasaga Beach.


Conditions and Requirements:

Large swaths of the survey area were heavily wooded or swampy wetlands, causing issue with accessibility and reliable survey information.

Accuracy requirements were +/-10cm on bare earth and +/-30cm in wooded/wetland areas.

(excluding bodies of water)

Previous survey crews had mapped a wooded area trails the year before,

Our survey was required to tie into past survey crew’s calibration points,

As well as embed their 150 survey shots into the final model.


First Phase Methodology and Timeline:

2 Aerial surveyors were deployed with an eBee+ RTK and R10 GPS.

Crew laid 20 aerial ground control points, distributed throughout the survey area.

Shots were calibrated to previous survey crews’ controls.

15 were used in the model, with 5 as check points.


Approximately 4 hours to lay and mark targets.

2 flights were performed by a Fixed Wing UAV, data collection took approximately 2 hours.

Final 2 hours for target and equipment clean up.

Field work was completed in about 8 hours, or 1 work day.


Processing took a single GIS Photogrammetrist 4 days to build, edit and QA/QC the 3D model.

The first phase was completed in less than a week, approximately 5 business days.


Second Phase Methodology and Timeline:

After speed, accuracy, and price of first survey, R.J. Burnside was able to commission an additional area to be surveyed.

2 Aerial surveyors were deployed using a Phantom 4 RTK and R10 GPS.

10 aerial ground control points were laid throughout the area.

Calibrated to our own controls from phase 1.

6 were used in the construction, 4 as check points.


Approximately 2 hours to lay and mark targets.

2 flights were performed by a Multi-Rotor, data collection took approximately 1 hour.

Additional hour after data collection to clean up equipment and targets.

The field work was completed in half a working day.


Processing, editing and QA/QC was completed in 2 days by a single GIS photogrammetrist.

The second phase was fully completed in less than business 3 days.



We were able to provide accurate data where it was near impossible to obtain with a ground crew.

Was done in a similar amount of time as a standard ground survey, however the number of crew required was significantly less, and thus reflected in considerable savings. (enough to extend the survey area)

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



Paul Hauser – R.J. Burnside & Associates Limited

“A few years ago, Burnside decided to explore the potential applications of a Drone Survey. We contacted Canadian UAV Solutions to do a pre-construction scan of a project which was about to get underway. Within about a week we had our topography and site imagery from the day of the survey. The topographic information was very dense, which provided our engineers ample data to produce an accurate drainage plan. A normal ground crew would have struggled getting GPS lock in this dense forest, and cannot provide the imagery data which has been useful to identify feature locations.

Since then we have used Canadian UAV Solutions for various municipal construction projects and plan to explore drone applications further.”


Should your Engineering firm be open to exploring a more efficient mode of data collection, contact Canadian UAV Solutions today, and we will be happy to answer your questions or provide quotations.