Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Donna Rizzo

Second Advisor

Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne

Third Advisor

Arne Bomblies


UAS, unmanned aerial system, disaster response and recovery, photogrammetry


A crucial step in responding to destruction by natural disasters is to estimate the amount of material needed to rebuild and repair damaged infrastructure. Current practices may be time-consuming, expensive, and inaccurate. However, stereo imagery obtained from a small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) can be used to estimate volumes in a safe, inexpensive, and accurate manner. Generation of 3D point clouds and digital surface models from imagery collected by a SenseFly eBee sUAS yields data that are on par with a terrestrial LiDAR sensor in terms of volume estimations, while the lightweight platform of a UAS allows for rapid and repeated deployment in the immediate aftermath of a major disaster event. These characteristics, in conjunction with the capability of this platform for the remote surveying of dangerous areas, could facilitate response to a disaster in less time and with increased accuracy and precision.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.