"Rise of the Drones: How Unmanned Surveying Can Help Make Our Coasts Resilient"

Summer 2016
By Jason Magalen

With 133.3 million people expected to live along U.S. coastlines by 2020, city planners must consider the future impacts of climate change, sea level rise and increased storm intensities when designing near the shore. Each of these mechanisms has the potential to make our coastlines more vulnerable to erosion and flood inundation. We must understand how best to protect our infrastructure from the destructive processes of the oceans and water bodies before we are able to design resilient infrastructure inland of the shorelines.

This American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Innovation Contest submittal investigates ways to use small unmanned aerial vehicles to collect data about coastlines to promote resilient infrastructure and reduced life-cycle costs.