UAV Aerial Surveying

Arvista’s provides aerial surveying services to a range of industries including:

  • mining
  • oil & gas
  • construction
  • earthmoving
  • quarrying
  • agriculture

We utilise a range of professional UAV’s that are purpose-built for commercial surveying purposes, enabling us to reliably and safely capture high quality remotely sensed data. Our team of professionals have the necessary resources and skills to turn this data into useful spatial information suitable to your GIS or CAD software.

Our certified UAV Controllers are all experienced surveyors who have been fully trained in Arvista’s safety and operational management systems.

Digital Terrain Models

Applying photogrammetry processes to generate detailed, spatially accurate 3D point clouds and digital terrain models (DTM’s).

Applications include:

  • Mine site planning
  • Open pit surveys
  • Volumetric cut and fill analyses
  • Surface water hydrology assessments
  • Erosion monitoring of natural and man-made landforms
  • Vegetation canopy modelling

All outputs provided in file formats to suit the CAD or GIS software in use by our clients (including specialised mining software such as Surpac and Vulcan).

High resolution digital terrain model used for analysis of a river bed.

High resolution digital surface model illustrated with corresponding aerial imagery.

The digital terrain models are regularly used by our mining clients together with their existing mine survey or design data, as illustrated in this image (shown in Surpac mine design software).

By applying a point cloud classification process, features such as vegetation can be removed from the model to enable a true terrain model to be created. This can then enable terrain contours to be generated such as this illustrated in this example.

Aerial Photography

Ultra high-resolution, geo-referenced orthophotos. Delivered in file formats to suit the GIS, CAD or image processing software in use by the client.

This example illustrates imagery obtained over an 18 km2 (1,800 ha) aerial survey. The imagery was captured at a ground resolution of 4 cm/pixel.

Quarry Surveying Services

We provide regular surveying services to a number of quarry operations – typically on a monthly basis to enable volumetric reconciliation of product stockpiles.

Such services typically include:

  • Measurement and reporting of excavation and stockpile volumes using UAV aerial survey data
  • Appointment of an authorised mine surveyors
  • Maintenance and submission of authorised mine plans

For most quarry operations, the UAV aerial survey and volumetric reporting is completed within a 24 hr period.

The use of UAV technology for this type of application allows the surveyor to be removed from working areas of the quarry resulting in a safer work method, and minimising delays to production.

The following images illustrate the high level of detail obtained from the UAV surveys, enabling very accurate volumetric measurement

Volumetric and Planimetric Measurement

The digital terrain models and aerial imagery that are generated from our UAV-derived data are regularly used to enable accurate measurement of:

  • Stockpile volumes
  • Tailings storage facility capacities
  • Excavated volumes
  • Cut & fill volumes
  • Cleared or disturbed areas (for environmental reporting)
  • Slope angles of terrain, pit walls etc

The use of UAV technology can enable accurate measurement of features or areas that cannot be safely accessed, or which would involve excessive time and cost due to the size of the area.

The aerial surveying of this historic open pit enabled geotechnical engineers to make accurate measurements of pit wall angles and other features which assisted in determining the design parameters for an adjacent pit

An aerial survey of this tailings storage facility was conducted in order to accurately measure the remaining capacity prior to re-commencement of operations at the site.

Environmental Monitoring

Arvista provide UAV aerial surveying for a variety of environmental applications including:

  • Vegetation health analysis from multispectral imagery
  • Landform monitoring / change assessment
  • Hydrological analysis (topographical)
  • Baseline establishment for rehabilitation modelling
  • Coastal surveys
  • Accurate measurement of disturbed and planned clearing areas for use in approvals, permitting, mine closure planning, MRF levy calculation.

Classification of vegetation types using multispectral imagery to enable accurate measurement of vegetation cover

This island off the northwest coast of Western Australia was surveyed for the purpose of obtaining a detailed terrain model and aerial imagery that could be used for landform & vegetation monitoring

Coastal survey conducted for the purpose of obtaining detailed surface model and imagery as part of an ongoing monitoring program.


The high resolution aerial imagery obtained by UAV is useful as a basis for various mapping requirements.

The following image illustrates the mapping of arable areas on a wheat farm, based on UAV aerial imagery