Drone Technology Integrated into Dam Safety Inspections and Evaluations: On-Demand

During recent years the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drone technology for the inspection and monitoring of dams and levees has increased. This rate of integration is, in part, due to FAA regulation revisions and the advantages regarding personnel safety, flexibility, speed and volume of data acquisition, and cost.

This webinar presents an overview of drones and how this technology can be incorporated into dam safety inspections and evaluations. Although drones are a cost-effective and efficient contribution to inspections, there are regulatory requirements for use and challenges with data acquisition—things to know before you fly. These include various flight rules, authorizations, accuracy requirements, flight strategies and site conditions, shadowing, and handling and processing large amounts of geospatial data.

This webinar presents insights into these challenges and common pitfalls to encourage the appropriate use and application of this emerging technology. This webinar also highlights the advantages of drone technology, why it is well suited to dam and levee safety applications, and how it can complement and provide new approaches to observe and inspect dams and levees. Included is a selection of recent site inspections that incorporated drone technology to successfully gather information and allow an inspection team to more safely and efficiently observe areas that are not accessible or difficult to access.

Jay Halligan, GISP

Schnabel Engineering/Project Analyst, UAV Operator

Jay Halligan is a Project Scientist who specialized in GIS Software for Schnabel Engineering.  Jay has been with Schnabel Engineering for 12 years and has been responsible for the GIS data collection and analysis for ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Desktop for hydrologic and hydraulic modeling or dams.  Jay is also a licensed small UAS remote pilot responsible for the maintenance, coordination, safety and execution of commercial operations within the company.

Greg Daviero, Ph.D., P.E.


Dr. Gregory Daviero is a Principal and Branch Leader of Schnabel Engineering’s Albany, New York region office in Clifton Park. Greg has more than 25 years of experience planning, performing, reporting, and providing overall management for water supply, dam and reservoir engineering projects. This experience includes managing complex hydraulic and hydrologic flood control evaluations, safe yield studies, dam breach analyses, spillway and hydraulic structure capacity alternatives evaluations, and dam rehabilitation design. He is active in numerous professional organizations advancing education in the field of dam engineering including membership on the Education Committee of the NYS Chapter of the American Water Works Association where he continues to develop and instruct a Fundamentals of Dam Safety training course in collaboration with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Dam Safety Section.  He is currently leading numerous dam safety projects in NYS and Ohio applying new technologies in mapping and modeling.  Greg has also recently served as an Adjunct Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and at Union College where he taught Applied Hydrology and Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics.

  1. Overview
    1. What are Drones/UAS/UAV
    2. Drone Usage
    3. Benefits Overview
    4. Regulations and restrictions
    5. Drone Inspection Equipment
    6. Products
  2. Inspections
    1. Dams and Analysis
    2. Historic records
    3. Rock Slope Evaluations
    4. Dam Incidents and Failures
    5. Construction Monitoring
    6. Retaining Wall Inspections
    7. Rip Rap Inspections
    8. Surface Seepage
    9. Modeling of Hydraulic Structures
  3. Security
    1. Homeland Security
    2.  Data Security
  4. Analysis Tools
    1. Maptech
    2. GIS
    3. Autodesk
    4. Cloud compare
    5. 3D models
    6. Video
    7. Infrared
  5. Future Developments


On- Demand Webinar
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Open to view video.
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2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available