UAV inspections and surveys in Milford Haven
07 Jun 2019
Advantage Geomatics assisted LandScope Engineering Ltd with a series of inspection and condition surveys in Milford Haven

The use of UAV technology is changing the way many things are being done in industrial environments nowadays.  For building or structure inspections they reduce exposure to risks such as working at height, in survey terms they gather far more data in a shorter space of time and reduce exposure to hostile environments and the data they gather is all easily aligned to a local or national grid.

In a recent job that Advantage Geomatics was sub-contracted by LandScope Engineering (, as one part of a comprehensive asset survey we were able to demonstrate all of these positive points and exceed the expectations of the principle client in the process.

The port of Milford Haven is an energy hub for the import of oil and gas from overseas.  The estuary has a variety of land based navigation aids used by the harbour pilots to safely steer the vessels into and out of the waterways which require regular condition inspections.

Advantage Geomatics were sub contracted to gather imagery of the 20 or so sites along both sides of the estuary ranging from 10m high radar masts to almost 50m tall concrete towers with navigation lights and marker boards. We gathered a variety of high resolution video and stills imagery from both the UAV and conventional cameras as the sites dictated, an example of the video imagery is shown below.

As well as the structure inspections we were also commissioned to generate a unified point cloud of 3 dry docks in various states of use and repair within the port.  The base of the docks were made up of sedimentary mud of unknown depth making access to enable survey by traditional methods too dangerous and the use of more advanced methods too costly.  The UAV was able to conduct the flights within 1 hour necessary with a further hour spent fixing the Ground Control Points (GCP’s).  The video below shows the results of the combined data gathered from a series of flights flown at 30m.  This data was then integrated with hydrographic survey data produced by the principle contractor to give a seamless data set above and below the water line.

All of this work was carried out in 2.5 days of site time safely and to the satisfaction of the clients producing deliverables that gave a snapshot of the condition of the various structures at that time.  This data can then be analysed off site and any programs of work can be prepared based on any issues identified.