Product Application Notes

Application Notes

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Integration of LiDAR and Multibeam Sonar to the EchoBoat USV Application Note for simultaneous above & below Water Levee Inspection

Integration of LiDAR and Multibeam Sonar to the EchoBoat USV Application Note for simultaneous above & below Water Levee Inspection
Customer:  R.E.Y. Engineers, Folsom, CA on behalf of the California Department of Water Resources

Equipment Used:  Seafloor EchoBoat USV, Norbit iWBMSc multibeam echosounder, Velodyne Puck VLP-16 LiDAR, Applanix POS MV Surfmaster  INS, Hypack and Hysweep software.
Problem/application:  The California Delta, specifi-cally, the Sacramento-San Joaquim River Delta is an expansive inland river delta and estuary in Northern California. The Delta is formed at the western edge of the Central Valley by the confluence of the Sacra-mento and San Joaquin rivers and lies just east of where the rivers enter Suisun Bay.  Since the
mid-19th century, most of the region has been grad-ually claimed for agriculture. Wind erosion and oxidation have led to widespread subsidence on the Central Delta islands; much of the Delta region today sits below sea level, behind levees earning it the nickname "California's Holland".  [1]
Since 1900, there have been over 160 levee failures in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. These numbers include multiple failures of a single levee structure.  Levee failures, also known as breaches, becaused by overtopping or structural failure. One of the most recent examples of levee failure in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta occurred in June 2004 when a levee breach caused more than 150,000 acre·ft (190,000,000 m3) of water to flood the entire island of Jones Tract.[30] Follow-ing a nearly 5-year drought cycle for the entire State of California, Winter and Spring 2016-2017 produced one of the wettest seasons on record, enabling the entire state to emerge from the drought.  In January 2017 more levees breached. [2] This was mostly due  to extremely high flow conditions from rainfall followed by rapid snowmelt delivering tremendous amounts of water through the levees structures.  Several sections of the Levee system were identified by the CADWR as high risk for failure and a contract was let to R.E.Y. Engineers of Folsom, CA to survey the levee both above and below the waterline for integrity.
Solution: Tom Cade, a PLS and Survey Engineer at R.E.Y. investi-gated the survey areas and opted to use an EchoBoat USV due to the extremely shallow water depths as well as limited accessibility to the canal.  The EchoBoat USV was fitted with an integrated Noribt multibeam, Velo-dyne Puck LiDAR, and POS MV Surfmaster IMU  All data was logged locally on the vehicle with Hypack software running on an industrial PC installed inside the vehicle.  Command and control of the vehicle and sensors was via Long-range Wi-Fi telemetry link via remote desktop top to an onshore PC.
Results: Nearly 6 million data points were collected in 50 minutes of survey including the LiDAR calibration data.  Detailed canal bottom bathymetry data and bank data was collected simultaneously to Hypack and processed to an XYZ point cloud file.  Both datasets were edited and process indpendly and merged to a single point cloud file.  The suspect side of the bank as well as the bottom information was clearly defined and seabed objects as well as dense vegetation on the bank are clearly visible in the data.  A telephone pole and wires were used to calibrate the LiDar and are clearly visible in Image.

LiDar Data Set




Bathymetry Data Set



Combined Data Set



Telephone Pole



Telephone Pole with Vegetation



Surveying a Contaminated Creek with a HyDrone-RCV

The project was to survey a creek underneath a roadway. The creek was contaminated and contained a lot of debris, making it dangerous for anyone to enter the water. It was still early Spring and the water was cold. As with all survey projects, they needed it yesterday.

We purchased a HyDrone-RCV and SonarMite MILSpec singlebeam echosounder, and expected good performance based on what we had heard. We expected to use only 1 person to run the equipment, which was the case in this project. 

The biggest obstacle we faced was the fact that all of the needed data was underneath a bridge. We used the SonarMite previously, but always with an RTK GPS. In this instance, we used our Trimble R-8 Robotic Total Station and came off of our existing control. We placed a 360 prism on the HyDrone-RCV, set the data collector up to continuously collect—and boom—we had it done in no time! Looking back, we are happy with everything about our purchase and results. Here is a link to our video showing the survey. Learn more about Prudent Engineering.

HydroLite-TM™ Singlebeam Echosounder Survey Pole Kit

HydroLite-TM™ imageThe '3D image' was from a project in Marion County, Florida.  Data was collected with a single frequency HydroLite-TM™ system on transects spaced approximately 5 feet apart. Data was processed in HYPACK and exported to Surfer for contouring. Click for more information on GeoView.
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