SenSat | Hull Frontages Case Study


Protecting the Coasts of the



Rising sea waters pose significant risks to existing coastal infrastructure. A £42M tidal defence scheme will improve flood protection to some 113,000 homes with upgraded tidal flood defences in Hull.

Kirsten Ingeneeger

17.06.2019 // 3 minute read

Sensat were commissioned to provide a non-invasive, rapid scan of the hazardous area to create a fully digital and highly accurate replica of the site for design purposes.

The Project

The existing tidal defence infrastructure has been deteriorating along the Hull frontages. Mott MacDonald and BAM Nuttall had been commissioned to assess the current flood risk, propose a solution and deliver it. Designing any new infrastructure is extremely difficult when there is no single source of truth about the spatial dimensions and features of the current coastal defences.


To understand the current situation and prepare a safe and informed constructability plan, the design team needed to assess the current designs against the realities of the ground space, across 10km of complex waterfront.

The Challenges

Demonstrating to the Environment Agency and relevant client representatives that engineering designs are fit for purpose can be difficult. Many of Sensat’s customers appreciate our ability to present visuals of the existing environment in comparison to the proposed designs.


There are a number of ways through which Sensat digitise construction sites, however, in this situation, ground-based access to the existing breakers and waterfront was not possible. The years of operation have caused many waterfront areas to become clogged with sedimentation and moss.


In addition, some areas became completely inaccessible during high and medium tides.

The Solution 


Utilising Sensat's leading UAV capabilities allowed to digitise the entire coast in under 2 days. This 1 scan was then processed into four key engineering deliverables:

  • 3D Point Cloud

  • 3D Surface Model

  • 2D CAD

  • 2D Orthomosaic

Traditionally, this type of data can be extremely hard to share between design teams as it is very large, up to 50GB for example. Thanks to Sensat's cloud based visualisation platform Mapp, BAM was able to view and interact with the large data sets in one central place.


In addition, BAM invited the Environment Agency to login to Mapp and double check their assumptions on the design. Rather than a design review taking days to organise and execute a few simple clicks allowed BAM to get verbal approval to proceed saving time effort and money.

Want to learn more about the project's results and benefits? Download the full case study below:

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