Flooding is considered by the UK Government to be one of the top risks to the nation, the 2017 UK Climate Change Risk Assessment identifying it as the uppermost environmental risk over the next century. The effective design and operation of both natural and manmade flood and coastal risk management infrastructure assets is predicated on accurate and reliable information. New technologies for observation and sensing have made possible a next generation of data streams that can characterise flood assets. Their exploitation necessitates a top-down framework capable of fusing and analysing multiple data sources to characterise asset condition and inform better understanding of flood resilience.
The aim of this project is therefore to transform the reliability of flood defence condition characterisation via data from new and existing earth observation sources. In particular, the project will create a framework to exploit contemporary platform and sensor developments, from ESA’s Sentinel satellite missions to small unmanned aircraft (drones), to augment existing national datasets from the Environment Agency and Ordnance Survey, and determine / inform stakeholders of potential vulnerability in flood asset condition by identifying cracks, vegetation health, subsidence, burrows, and other evidence of infrastructure damage. Wide-scale flood defence condition characterisation and monitoring will be demonstrated through enhanced remote sensing capability (e.g. high resolution time series analysis) only made recently possible by contemporary developments in big data environmental analytics, notably cloud computing and deep learning. The research aligns to NERC’s priority in ‘Constructing a Digital Environment’ and ‘Environmental Risks to Infrastructure’ Programmes.
This project is part of the ONE Planet DTP. Find out more here: View Website