Drone-derived mapping in Prerow

In August 2023, Fugro and EOMAP successfully conducted a joint drone survey mission in the Baltic Sea as part of the European 4S project. Its main target is to innovate mapping and monitoring of the seabed with the help of Copernicus satellite data, drone-derived bathymetry and modern cloud infrastructure.

The survey area

was the Prerow Island Port – between Rostock and Stralsund – which is currently in construction. The new island port will enable sea rescue and maritime emergency care with short response times, provide a port of refuge, and set up permanent berths for local fishermen. The new pier and harbor will replace the Darßer Ort port that is situated in the Vorpommersche-Boddenlandschaft National Park. This again, will help renature the Ottosee, thus encouraging natural development, the protection of biotopes, and – last, but not least – help meet the European obligations under nature conservation law.

The method

In total, six drone flights were conducted at 70 metres, with the objective to document the underwater and surface distribution of the berm and rock placement. The drone was equipped with a multispectral sensor which collected over 1800 high-resolution aerial images. In addition, selective depth readings were taken to calibrate the drone-derived bathymetry.

Challenge and outcome

We were very impressed at the pilot’s skill in intermittent weather conditions. Also, there were some additional challenges, such as the approximately 50 metres tall construction crane on the site. This required the adjustment of our flight height. The project‘s next steps will include processing the collected data. The expected outcomes are a calibrated very-high resolution bathymetry map derived from drone images to enable improved construction planning.

Our thanks go to the Fugro team (for the drone flight and imagery) as well as to the local environmental authority, Amt für Landwirtschaft und Umwelt in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.