Trends Spring 2017 - Page 18

Continued from page 15 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 18│ TRENDS 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