AWPR Vegetation Establishment Monitoring
The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) project involved transforming the A90 and A92 roads to connect at its endpoints, spanning 58 kilometers. Over one million plants and trees were planted for settlement, noise reduction, and visual enhancement. Due to limited ground access, Innovair conducted aerial surveys for 5 years, capturing over 30,000 high-resolution images of the vegetation. An online portal facilitated visual assessments, eliminating the need for manual inspections or road closures. This innovative approach allowed continuous monitoring and ensured safety throughout the corridor's assessment.
What was needed?
The AWPR is designated as part of the A90 road, with the older road through the city centre renamed as the A92. The A90 & A92 now connect at either end of the AWPR, at Stonehaven in the south and Blackdog in the north.As part of the development, over one million plants and trees were planted along the 58Km route and associated access roads. This vegetation is intended to provide settlement in the developed land, along with noise cancellation and general visual improvement.
Due to minimal access points along the route, it is not feasible to survey the vegetation by ground. Innovair was contracted to collect aerial imagery along the entire 58km corridor route so that our client could monitor the establishment & health of the vegetation over time. This work forms part of a 5-year contract providing annual condition assessments.
Details of the survey:
Aerial imagery of terrain surrounding AWPR corridor
Visual record to cover every plant or tree along route
Online portal for visual assessment & analysis
What did we do?
As the AWPR route is a busy road carriageway, all flights were undertaken either side of the road from adjacent land. In total, over 50 hours of flight missions were completed over the full route.
Equipment utilisedincluded a WingtraOneVTOL system which has PPK enabled geotagging workflow.
As an 11Km section of the AWPR Road lies within Aberdeen Airports Flight restricted Zone (FRZ). Specialist permission had to be granted to fly drones within this area. This was provided by NATS who issued the initial permission after reviewing our flight plans. On the day of the operation, Innovair personnel maintained regular contact with Aberdeen Air Traffic to communicate plans and location.
The project team kept the client & other stakeholders updated, liaising with the various project managers to ensure safe flights were coordinated around simultaneous operations that were being carried out around the route.
What were the results?
Over 30,000 high resolution geo-rectified images were collected by our fixed wing drone, providing the quality of visual data required by the client to deliver a record of every tree planted.
All images were stored and processed on our online portal. The portal allows data to be view as a scaled ortho-map and shows the full 58km route as a top downimage. Our client was then able to monitor the health and growth of all the trees planted and will continue to do so over the 5-year period. If any deterioration is noted, for example damage from high winds, client can notify groundworkers and direct them to the area that requires replanting or repair.
The entire project was delivered by our in-house team, taking care of pre-mobilisation requirements, project enactment and post project data processing.
What were the benefits?
Using our fixed wing drone system prevented the need for personnel to manually inspect vegetation areas or require road closures to be put in place.
Our client is able to monitor the health and growth of all the trees planted and will continue to do so over the 5-year period.
Our fixed wing systems and efficient flight planning allows large routes / corridor condition assessments to be carried out with ease without risking personnel and road users.