Acquision of geometrical data of small rivers with an unmanned water vehicle

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleContributedpeer-review



Rivers with small- and medium-scaled catchments have been increasingly affected by extreme events, i.e. flash floods, in the last years. New methods to describe and predict these events are developed in the interdisciplinary research project EXTRUSO. Flash flood events happen on small temporal and spatial scales, stressing the necessity of high-resolution input data for hydrological and hydrodynamic modelling. Among others, the benefit of high-resolution digital terrain models (DTMs) will be evaluated in the project. This article introduces a boat-based approach for the acquisition of geometrical and morphological data of small rivers and their banks. An unmanned water vehicle (UWV) is used as a multi-sensor platform to collect 3D-point clouds of the riverbanks, as well as bathymetric measurements of water depth and river morphology. The UWV is equipped with a mobile Lidar, a panorama camera, an echo sounder and a positioning unit. Whole (sub-) catchments of small rivers can be digitalized and provided for hydrological modelling when UWV-based and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) based point clouds are fused.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1027
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018


Title2018 ISPRS TC II Mid-term Symposium "Towards Photogrammetry 2020"
Duration4 - 7 June 2018
CityRiva del Garda

External IDs

Scopus 85048371977



  • EXTRUSO, Multi-sensor Platform, Mobile Mapping, Lidar, Echo Sounder, Flash Flood, Unmanned Water Vehicle