icebergs

Capturing aerial photography in Greenland

Guest blog by Andy Fleetwood, Business Development Manager – Environment & Renewables, Blom.

As the rain continued to fall across Britain this summer we seized the opportunity to capitalize on the good weather across the North Atlantic and complete two aerial photography projects we had recently been awarded.

As clear skies can be few and far between on the west coast of Greenland, where we were required to capture aerial photography for international consultancy company NIRAS, it was decided that we would head straight there, only stopping to re-fuel in Reykjavik. On the return leg fuel stop, we would then complete the second project, aerial imagery over Iceland for Samsyn, a company that specialises in GIS, cartography, data production and systems integration. As typical on these projects we would be using the Vexcel UltraCam XP digital survey grade camera.

Icebergs
Icebergs

Our first stop in Greenland was Kangerlussuaq, where the first of three areas of Sisimiut was captured at 10cm resolution. Even though the good weather continued, Murphy’s Law dictated that the aircraft fuel pump should break.  With the aircraft grounded a new part was ordered and dispatched. As frustrating as this was, the spare part arrived promptly in Greenland, quickly fitted, and we were on our way again, this time heading north to capture the areas of Ilulissat & Nuuk, again at 10cm resolution.

Repairing the aircraft
Repairing the aircraft

Whilst our survey crew were in Greenland, a late request from NIRAS came in to the office in Cheddar requesting imagery capture of a small area at Telegrafoen Island.  This was promptly planned, agreed with the client and air ops were given the go ahead.  This area was then captured upon return from the successful capture of the Nuuk polygon.  Additionally, some high river water had caused some severe damage to a road bridge at Kangerlussuaq. Further flight plans were drawn up and some excellent imagery of the bridge was captured.

The damaged bridge at Kangerlussuaq
The damaged bridge at Kangerlussuaq
The damaged bridge at Kangerlussuaq
The damaged bridge at Kangerlussuaq

When all capture was complete in Greenland, the transit to Iceland was able to begin.  There were two areas to capture for this project, both close to Reykjavik.  Hellisheiðarvirkjun was captured at 10cm resolution and Hofudborgarsvaedid was captured at 25cm resolution.

All captured imagery was sent to the Blom UK office in Cheddar for processing and delivery to the client.  The imagery for Samsyn has been delivered to the client and the imagery for NIRAS is currently being prepared for dispatch.