Guidelines for using Photogrammetric Tools on Unmanned Aircraft Systems to Support the Rapid Monitoring of Avalanche-prone Roadside Environments

PI: Ed McCormack (UW), edm@uw.edu, ORCID: 0000-0002-2437-9604

Co PIs: Nathan Belz (UAF)

AMOUNT & MATCH: $180,000 from PacTrans; $180,000 Match

PERFORMANCE PERIOD: 8/16/2019 – 8/15/2021

STATUS: Active

CATEGORIES: Unmanned Ariel Vehicles, Rapid Response, Avalanche

RESEARCH PROJECT HOT SHEET:

UTC PROJECT DOCUMENTATION:

FINAL PROJECT REPORT: will be available once completed

PROJECT DATA: will be available once completed

DESCRIPTION: This research effort addresses the PacTrans’ topic area of Improved Reliability across Modes. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology (i.e. drones) paired with photogrammetric capabilities has the potential to provide rapid feedback on snowpack data that can be used to monitor and forecast avalanche risks.

This data will assist Department of Transportation (DOT) winter maintenance staff who operate snow avalanche programs in the PacTrans region (Washington, Idaho, and Alaska) as well as most other western states with mountains, as they make difficult decisions about when to close and re-open highways in times of high avalanche risk or deploy other means of avalanche mitigation. This research effort creates a decision support tool to assist DOTs in more quickly responding to and mitigating avalanche hazards, opening roads, or avoid closing them at all and thus improving roadway reliability for both freight and passengers.

DELIVERABLE DUE DATE DATE RECEIVED
Research Project Progress Report #1 4/10/2020
Research Project Progress Report #2 10/10/2020
Research Project Progress Report #3 4/10/2021
No Cost Extension Request 6/15/2021
Draft Report 6/15/2021
Final Project Report 8/15/2021