Aerial surveys of river habitats

For ‘in river’ habitats APEM scientists have developed bespoke software specifically designed to derive riverine habitats from aerial imagery. The software can automatically classify important habitats such as salmonid spawning and juvenile habitat.

At the same time, the software also produces sediment grain size distribution maps and bathymetric maps of the river, allowing precise and auditable statistical data to be extracted from the imagery.

Aerial survey map showing habitat classification

This type of mapping is often used for low flow studies or as part of an environmental impact investigation.

Aerial surveys of coastal habitats

In coastal and estuarine environments, aerial surveys and satellites are an ideal way to gather data in these often hostile and inaccessible areas.

Aerial and satellite data are used to map the extent and distribution of different sediment types, as well as other habitats including intertidal biotopes and features of conservation importance, such as intertidal Sabelleria reef and eel grass.

APEM often combines aerial surveys with ground validation surveys, which together provide a detailed and robust dataset. This also allows the work of field survey teams on the ground to be targeted to where it is needed, saving time and increasing efficiency.

  • Aerial image mapping various habitats and species
  • Aerial image mapping habitats in a river
  • Aerial map showing habitats in a river
  • Aerial Habitat Classification image 5

Aerial surveys of terrestrial habitats

Remote sensing provides an excellent resource for mapping terrestrial habitats. This type of survey is particularly useful when mapping large areas as collecting data via aerial surveys and satellite is quick and efficient.

A modified version of a phase one habitat investigation is carried out allowing classification of habitats to be automated using the imagery. This is often undertaken as part of a supervised classification, where training data for specific habitats is used to help the software ‘learn’ the various spectral properties associated with a particular habitat.

Air Operator Certificate and PART-SPO

Our Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and PART-SPO registration demonstrate our commitment to operating at the highest standards of health and safety. Together they provide our clients with complete flexibility in carrying expert technicians and task specialists on board our aircraft during surveys.

We operate under our own AOC, fully authorised and audited by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to the same rigorous standards required of major airlines.

We are also the first company to successfully register to operate under the new PART-SPO regulations. PART-SPO is a major update to the way that aerial surveys are regulated, signalling both a significant tightening of requirements and a new approach by the CAA.

It covers special operations from aerial photography to aerobatics, parachuting, cloud seeding and animal herding. APEM is registered for aerial photography, surveying and calibration.

If you have any queries, please contact David Campbell, principal remote sensing scientist.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.