KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 1891–1898 | Cite as

Flow Estimation using Drone Optical Imagery with Non-uniform Flow Modeling in a Controlled Experimental Channel

  • Boosik Kang
  • Jin Gyeom KimEmail author
  • Dongsu Kim
  • Do Hyuk Kang
Water Resources and Hydrologic Engineering


A new methods were presented to estimate streamflow with the aid of low-cost optical, infrared, and microwave imagery in a controlled experimental hydraulic channel. The River Experiment Center in Andong, Korea was used as a test site for calibration and validation. The suggested methodologies uses the remotely sensed channel width and the derived channel cross sections coupled with simple hydraulic models. Two basic models were applied for comparison; 1) the Manning’s equation for uniform flow analysis and 2) an iterative method based on the energy equation that assumes non-uniform flow. The non-uniform condition for the 2nd method is achieved by using a water structure, specifically, a weir, to form a backwater effect. Under the assumption of ideal uniform flow, both methods show similarly reasonable performance, with 14.5% error on average against the in-situ channel flow observations. However, under non-uniform flow, the uniform flow approach, i.e., the 1st method, exhibits overestimated channel flow (62.6% error) compared to the non-uniform analysis method, i.e., the 2nd method (15.8% error on average).


unmanned aerial vehicle drone remote sensing streamflow measurement experimental channel non-uniform flow 


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Civil Engineers 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boosik Kang
    • 1
  • Jin Gyeom Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dongsu Kim
    • 1
  • Do Hyuk Kang
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Civil and Environmental EngineeringDankook UniversityYonginKorea
  2. 2.Hydrological Sciences BranchNASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA

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