APTIM, engineers for the 2017 beach nourishment project, are contracted with the Town to conduct annual profile surveys to assess beach and dune conditions. In addition to the annual surveys, the Duck Town Council has approved a supplemental survey technique allowing the use of drone technology to assist in rapid assessment beach surveys prior to and following major storms. Coordinating with the Town and property owners, in late August APTIM installed 70 ground control points (GCP), or locators, along the ocean front.
GCPs look like the photo above and are either painted on roadways or installed at or near grade on posts on non-paved surfaces. Each GCP was surveyed and their position will be used to assist in referencing the locations of captured drone images. Town staff are licensed to operate the drone, allowing for quick response before and after storms. Data collected during the programmed flight pattern will be downloaded into software that will produce 3D imagery of the dune profile. This new drone survey technique will allow APTIM to better analyze and compare data both between storms and with the annual profile surveys.
A special thank you goes out to the property owners and subdivisions that worked with the Town to get this project in the air.