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February 10, 2022

Landfill Aerial Survey

Landfill Aerial Survey
Landfill Aerial Survey


Photo of Dean Engela, CEO of Darkwing Aerials
Dean Engela
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Darkwing Aerials conducted a terrain and stockpile survey of the Vissershok landfill site. This is one of three landfills operated by the city of Cape Town. The Vissershok landfill handles the disposal of general and low to medium hazardous waste which cannot be reused or recycled. Consequently the main disposal pile at the Vissershok landfill can grow quickly in a short amount of time.

To assist with waste management and avoid any damage to the environment the growth of the disposal pile must be monitored closely. The use of drones to record and display the current state of the landfill saves time and is cost effective. Darkwing Aerials deployed our M300 industrial drone with the P1 RGB camera at Vissershok. Our pilot arrived on site and quickly coordinated with the site surveyor to formulate a suitable flight plan above the disposal pile.

The surveyor had already laid out ground control points around and on top of the disposal pile. Each ground control point’s position had been recorded using GPS. Our drone flew the entire disposal pile in 2 hours capturing over 2000 images. These images are then used to reconstruct the landfill site into a 3D terrain model. The aerial image data also captured each ground control point which is used to geo-locate the terrain model during the assessment phase of the project. 

The 3D terrain model provides the surveyor and landfill management team with valuable data. The total height, volume and surface area of the disposal pile is provided in accurate detail. An accurate comparison can also be made with the 3D model created 6 months earlier. When the next survey is conducted in 6 months’ time the current model will be used again to manage the landfill and protect the environment.

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