Ground Penetrating Radar
integrated with a Drone
for bathymetry

Airborne GPR+UAV solution for bathymetry allows to
estimate not only the depth but also thickness and irregularities in sediments layer as well detect objects much faster and cost-efficient.
The GPR+drone integrated system enables to measure the depth of water and profiling the bottom of freshwater rivers, lakes, ponds up to 15 meters in depth
Why choose a Drone with GPR for bathymetry?
Bathymetry is the measurement of water depth in rivers and lakes. Benefits of Drone+GPR solution compared with a standard approach using ship, boat or unmanned surface vehicle:
Convenient solution
Easy to transport and deploy. No need for a wide point of entry to the water for deployment/recovery. Easy to use over small or hard to reach rivers and lakes. Locations not reachable by foot can be reached by drone.
Acquire data faster compared to the traditional methods.
Doesn't depend on water flow
System works without water contact therefore rivers and lakes with strong currents, shallow and seaweeds are easy measurable.
Automated flight
Drone ensures higher accuracy in following survey lines thanks to the inbuilt GPS and automated flight mode.
Drone's precise positioning and rangefinder systems result in high accuracy measurements.
Bathimetry applications
Mapping water depths and sediments before dredging and cleaning in shallow or seaweed ponds, lakes, rivers, and canals
River and lake bottom profiling for scientific investigations and environmental monitoring
Flood inundation mapping
Underwater inspections for engineering works (bridge or pipeline crossings)
Mapping the sediments of oxidation ponds
Sludge volume measurements at WSPs.
Freshwater bathymetry at Silkeborg Lake
The drone-based bathymetric survey of the Silkeborg Lake in Denmark was conducted with a low-frequency GPR. The researcher's objective was to map water depths and sediments of the ~22 000 sq. m lake to control the speed of the sediments layer and bank's build-up.
The mission planning and equipment set up took 30 mins. The survey was conducted at speed 2 m/s and flight altitude 2m over the water surface and took two flights up to 15 minutes each flight.
Bathymetric survey of Silkeborg Lake using drone with low-frequency GPR
Flight altitude 2m over the water surface, speed 2 m/s.
Processed data samples
The GPR data, acquired during the flights, were processed within 20 min into 2D profiles.
The integrated system for bathymetry includes
An off-the-shelf or custom-built UAV based on DJI A3 flight controller, i.e. DJI M600/M600 Pro
UgCS SkyHub
Onboard computer ensures that radar's data logging is started automatically and geotagged with GPS coordinates of autopilot
GPR low frequency system
GPR type is selected based on the water depth
Radar rangefinder
Adding radar rangefinder to the system enables safe flights over water at low altitudes - up to 1meter
Ground control software to plan and control the flight, displaying GPR's status data and drones current trace
Contact us to get started
Let's get in touch to upgrade your bathymetry surveys!
About us
SPH Engineering is serving to customer in more than 198 countries and supporting 203 Universities and Training centers in 37 countries since 2013.
Contacts us
SPH Engineering, SIA
Katlakalna 9a, Riga, LV-1073, Latvia