Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Subsidence from Interferometry - London Tunnelling

Every now and again you come across a map that just makes you go - "wow" as it is either beautiful, extremely detailed, or highlights the power of some remote sensing or GIS technique so well that you have to share it. I came across this article a few weeks ago on LinkedIn - sub-millimetre subsidence mapped in London by the TerraSARX satellite - probably the highest resolution SAR satellite on the market. This isn't localised subsidence, but a clear linear feature running roughly parallel to the river (always makes me think of EastEnders). The cause of the subsidence? Tunnelling for the Crossrail route.

A great example of the power of EO satellites for mapping and monitoring.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Survey Ireland 2018

Conference season is in full swing - Survey Ireland is on Wednesday 30th in Dunboyne Castle. Not a venue I have been to before so looking forward to seeing it. I'll be doing a talk at it on EO for Coastal Construction Monitoring. Some familiar faces from Maynooth will also be there talking about VR/AR for the City Dashboard project.

A great line up of speakers - have a look at the programme and book early!

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Conference of Irish Geographers 2018 (CIG50)

I was at CIG2018 last week in Maynooth - this was the 50th in the series and they had made big plans for the event with a strong profile on social media.

It was only my second time presenting at this event but found I a very broad, interesting range of talks as usual. Our EO session (Daithí Maguire and me) was well attended and had some excellent talks - with talks on drones, coastal erosion, land cover in bogs and urban construction monitoring from satellite all included. Daithí's talk was excellent - really clear examples and assessment of different SAR datasets and orbits for picking up embankment on the headland at Brandon bay compared with INFOMAR LiDAR. My talk was on the "Satellites for BIM" project carried out with SCSI and ESA support last summer - Darragh Murphy, Aidan Magee, Avril Behan and Avril Behan. Lots of Q&A afterwards as well which is always a good sign.

It was very nice seeing some of the familiar faces again - Geography Dept was almost there entirely and most of the NCG and NIRSA was there plus a few back from foreign climes who had long since moved on but were still part of the Code and the City/City Dashboard project. I missed Gavin by one day.

I made a point this time of sitting in on talks that weren't in my usual sphere and caught a few interesting social science ones. Unfortunately could not make the Saturday morning session which had a lot of the climate change ones.

Anyway great job hosting Maynooth and well done to the organising committee. Galway bound next year - looking forward to it.

Monday, 23 April 2018

MIssing Type XXI U-Boat found - MBES Scan

Aside from Maps and Geography I'm also a big History fan - especially military history - I soak the stuff up, everything from classical Greek up to WW2, but the Battle of the Atlantic is  definitely one of my favourites - Storms, U-Boats, Aircraft, Convoys, etc. Some of my earlier posts on shipwrecks have mentioned these wrecks scattered around the Irish coastline.

I was interested to read in the news of late that the wreck one of the very few Type XXI U-Boats  to see active service was recently found using multibeam SONAR. These were really revolutionary vessels - arguably the first real 'submarine' with theoretically unlimited underwater performance - everything up until then had just been a 'submersible'. The Allies plundered this tech mercilessly in the post war - early cold war years and fed into design of the diesel SSKs and early nuclear SSBNs and SSNs.

It is quite a dramatic wreck too, telling a lot about the last moments of the ship. U-3523 is buried from the bow up to the midships in the mud near the Skaggerak (Denmark) at almost a 45degree angle, it must have hit the seabed with some force. Uncontrolled flooding, bowplanes stuck - who knows what happened following the aerial attack to have made U-3523 plow into the seabed at that angle, 120m below the surface but this is one of the boats that had long been rumoured to have slipped off to South America with Nazi gold and/or war criminals and that story can also be laid to rest now.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Dun Laoghaire Pier - Network Surveys

Monday was a beautiful day out in Dun Laoghaire for the start of the network survey with the 2nd year Geos. Windy but sunny - the clouds started to roll in around 3pm, reminded me of my lunchtime walks when I was working with TWM before the office moved. Had a quick look around the library too - impressive.

Stage one as always is the recce - but when the students returned it turned out that large portions of the upper east pier was closed off due to storm damage either from Ophelia or Emma. I don't know if these slabs had been moved by waves crashing in and up from under the pier or they are the replacements (they don't look damaged) or else they had to remove them to access other damage but still these are big pieces of rock...

This meant all of those stations had to be repositioned for the network measurements and the rest of the day was spent doing that, only allowing a short amount of time in the PM for measurements from stations at the ends of either pier. This also meant reduced visibility as the students were now trying to see across the harbour from lower down. Lots of radio contact required to ensure inter-visibility,

Level survey and topo to follow later in the week but I am off to Grangegorman to help with the first year field trip there, looking forward to seeing it.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

EO and Ocean Plastic

My new years resolution is to use less plastic - thanks Blue Planet II - one of the big problems it has highlighted is large patches of ocean plastic, some of them as big as a large country. With projections estimating that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050 it is important to start finding the problem areas so solutions can be developed and targeted. That is where I am not surprised to see EO playing a role. Looking for the spectral signatures for plastics, imagery from satellites such as Sentinel 3 is playing a role between ESA and industry partners in helping to do just this and creating maps measuring density of plastics in ocean regions.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

GDPR and Drone Operations

I attended a very interesting CPD event at SCSI HQ earlier in the week - it covered upcoming changes to regulations for drone operations and also privacy issues. Privacy for drone surveys had always been a bit of a grey area, the IAA weren't regulating it, the Gardaí weren't - etc. The big change coming down the line will be the EU's General Data Protection Regulations (coming into effect on 28th May) and privacy will be a major consideration then with massive penalties for non-compliance (up to 10% of a companies annual turnover!). Terms such as a data processing impact assessment should put shivers down the spines of anyone considering flying in the coming months until it is clearer what effect it will have on surveyors and also the best way to plan for it.

As the Christine Woods from Matheson explained - "act now as preparation is necessary to achieve compliance".

About Me

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My name is Conor. I am a PostDoc and Lecturer. These few lines will (hopefully) chart my progress through academia and the world of research.