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Since 2015, Ayres has flown multiple UAS operations at
the Adams County Landfill, collecting high-resolution aerial
imagery of the landfill and using it to produce detailed
topographic data and mapping. The topographic data is
then used to create detailed, three-dimensional surfaces of
the active and closed landfill and surrounding areas to help
determine changes in elevations and volumes over time.
The topographic mapping delivered from the UAS systems
provides a much higher-definition surface model than was
generated from conventional survey, said Erik Lietz, Ayres’
project manager of solid waste services.
“Traditional topographic survey methods measure
points every 25 to 50 feet and along major features,
such as changes in slopes, essentially trying to make a
representative data set of what exists in the field. With
UAS technology, you gather a much larger data set – with
survey points every two centimeters,” Lietz said.
So, what does that mean to landfill owners? It means that
they can complete more accurate volume measurements
than ever before, including how much waste they’ve taken
in year to year, how much volume they have left to fill, and
how much life is left in their landfill.
Over time, as the waste within the landfill decomposes,
the fill level shifts – making way for more landfill material.
“This technology also helps us conduct an evaluation of
the organic stability of the landfill, which is a requirement
of the regulatory agency. We can analyze the surfaces over
time to see how much the capped portions of the landfill
have changed,” Lietz said. “Once you measure the change
in elevations, operational decisions can be made with