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Drone used to Study Riverbeds

By [email protected] - 25th August 2015 - 10:13

The University of Brighton is using a drone in Western Canada to map a river-bed both above and below water level, and then model how sandy rivers respond to human interference and environmental change. The radio-controlled quadcopter gives scientists an aerial view of the river at such a high resolution that is possible to see a 10p coin on the ground. Phil Ashworth, Professor of Physical Geography, is leading the technological development of the drone following a Natural Environment Research Council grant of £742,000 to a team of researchers from Brighton, Exeter, Hull, Birmingham and Illinois universities. The three-year project will map changes in river bed morphology on the sandy-bed South Saskatchewan River, six hours travel-time from Calgary, Western Canada. Professor Ashworth said: âThe research project will use the drone to make daily maps of channel change to allow calculation of the direction and rate of sediment movement.â