Applying Object Motion Mapping for Maritime Domain Awarness

4DM as part of team lead by SSCL was awarded Canadian Space Agency – EOADP to investigate the value of space base earth observation data to provide persistent Maritime Domain Awareness. The project will include real time acquisition of optical (Dove, SkySat) and radar (RADARSAT-2) data with predictive modeling in areas of interest off west coast of Canada, Persian Gulf and potential RIMPAC 2018. 4DM will be using it patent pending Object Motion Mapping to uniquely identify vessels, extracted vessel attributes and determine motion. Information will be integrated into a predictive modeling tool called Timecaster developed by Maerospace for identify and validating the track of vessels with AIS data and “dark targets” . Goal is to demonstrate how the technologies can be applied to meet operational needs

Improve Hydrological Forecast Model

4DM has recently completed a project on assessing and improving performance of the Mattagami River Watershed Model (MRWM). The MRWM, developed by 4DM for Ontario Power Generation, is a WATFLOOD-based hydrological model which is designed to serve for (1) operational flow forecasting, implemented as part of the HydrologiX II web-based decision support system, and (2) water balance, climate impacts and water availability studies in the Mattagami River basin.

The project focused on advanced calibration and validation of the MRWM, incorporation of the Canadian Precipitation Analysis (CaPA) data, and robust automated model calibration using the OSTRICH optimization engine. As part of the optimization, we performed single objective calibration for streamflow, as well as two-objective model calibration for (a) streamflow (12 gauges) and (b) reservoir inflow (6 gauges) using a Pareto-based algorithm. Figure 1 and Figure 2 present examples of optimization results.

The calibrated model was able to achieve the average Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency of 0.84 for streamflow (0.64 – 0.95 at individual gauges), and 0.77 for reservoir inflow (0.66 – 0.93 at individual gauges) over the 2002-2016 period.

The optimized MRWM is currently being deployed to the HydrologiX II system for use in operational flow and inflow forecasting. HydrologiX II has been utilized in the Mattagami River basin since 2014 for providing fully automated daily flow and inflow forecasts, situational awareness, monitoring, notification and data dissemination services.

4DM Conducts Visual Simulation Project

4DM has been awarded a visual simulation assessment project as subconsultant  to ARCADIS Canada. The simulation is part of Environmental Assessment on a structural change to hydro-electric transmission corridor. The outcome will be used to provide the public visual perspective of the changes to the transmission corridor for consultation.

4DM provides LiDAR expertise to Dam Safety Review

4DM as subconsultant to Sanchez Engineering was award the Palgrave Dam Safety Review for Toronto Region Conservation Authority. 4DM’s role will be to conduct terrestrial LiDAR and integrated with airborne LiDAR data to support structural, geotechnical and hydrotechnical analysis. Our team will support hydrology analysis and inundation mapping

4DM completes project to develop algorithms for near – real time flood extent and depth from RADARSAT-2 and LiDAR

4DM, in collaboration with C-Core, recently completed a project on the development of algorithms and software tools to support near real-time mapping of flooding, commissioned by Natural Resources Canada’s Emergency Geomatics Services (EGS). The objectives of the project were to (1) improve the accuracy of flood extent mapping by complementing an existing EGS open-water detection algorithm with specialized approaches for vegetated and urban areas and a GIS-based conflation post-processing, and (2) enable calculation of flood depth within the inundated area.

Within the scope of this project 4DM has developed an algorithm and a software toolset for performing conflation post-processing of remotely-sensed flood extent areas (open-water only, as well as combined with specialized vegetated/urban algorithms) to ensure the hydrologic validity of the resulting flood extent, and for determination of flood depth. 4DM also conducted research for the urban flood detection algorithm.

Preliminary results from the Richelieu and Red rivers indicate that the conflation post-processor significantly improves the accuracy of flood extent mapping in comparison to the existing open-water algorithm in areas where the flow pattern is primarily 1-D (well defined valleys) and high-resolution DEM is available. The approach currently does not perform as well in flat terrain where flow patterns are more 2-D in nature and/or DEM quality is lower.

4DM awarded contract for the development of a National Guide on the Acquistion of Airborne LiDAR Data

We are pleased to announce that 4DM has been contracted to coordinate the development of a National Guide on the Acquisition of Airborne LiDAR Data. Airborne LiDAR has become or is becoming a primary source of elevation data for applications in flood risk mapping, infrastructure mapping, forestry, and for assembling nationwide topographic dataset across Canada. Over the years various LiDAR actors in Canada have developed their own standards and specifications for data acquisition. The absence of common national guidelines often leads to lack of uniformity in collected data, which becomes especially apparent when integrating data across jurisdictions or projects.

The goal of the project, awarded by the Canadian Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO) of Natural Resources Canada, is to update, revise and finalize the current draft National Guidelines by leveraging the standards, specifications, guidelines and best practices for acquisition of airborne LiDAR data available in Canada and internationally. Our vision for developing the LiDAR guidelines is to provide a primary reference source for governments, commercial organizations, NGOs and researchers involved in the planning, acquisition, and use of airborne LiDAR data, thus facilitating a more harmonized and standardized approach for acquiring LiDAR datasets across the country. It is envisioned that the Guidelines will contain common industry-neutral specifications, while considering unique requirements for different vertical application areas, such as forestry, floodplain or coastal zone mapping.

Key to the development of guidelines will be the input of the LiDAR user community across the country. As part of this project we plan to engage experts, decision makers, data providers and users in a manner that is inclusive and collaborative, in order to gather input for and shape the content of the guidelines. This collaboration will be achieved through several means, including: engaging the provincial and territorial governments on their current specifications, best practices and requirements; conducting a National Meeting in Ottawa in January of 2017 with the LiDAR user community to present findings and propose direction for the new guidelines; and soliciting user comments on the draft guidelines.

4DM developing innovative river flow forecasting system for northern environments

A “made in Canada” solution is at hand for monitoring reservoir inflows, forecasting changing river conditions and, potentially, predicting floods in northern environments. 4DM Inc. is developing a web-based system to provide water managers with a tool for forecasting river flows.

Co-funded by LOOKNorth, a Canadian national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research that fosters remote sensing innovation to support responsible development of northern resources, 4DM is conducting a project to bring together, within a turnkey system, satellite remote sensing data for snowpack information, numerical weather prediction data and in-situ sensor data as input for a distributed hydrological model (WATFLOOD). The hydrological model, WATFLOOD, was developed by the University of Waterloo and is currently used by Environment Canada, Manitoba Hydro, Ontario Power Generation, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and others in water resources sector. The process is being automated within a technology environment as an information service to decision makers involved in water management and analysis.

The project scope includes research, design, development, testing and implementation of the system within a Northern Ontario watershed. The system, HydrologiX II, will provide a five-day forecast for water managers on a daily basis. Initially created as a data service to support scheduling of operations for hydroelectric production, HydrologiX II can be used as an information source for water budgeting, environmental flow analysis, climate change monitoring and flood risk analysis for both gauged and ungauged watersheds. The system improves on current technology through automation, by providing easy access to information through web services and by incorporating information on current and future watershed conditions. HydrologiX II will enable better management of flows and levels along river systems, particularly at times of high inflow such as spring thaw, and will improve situation awareness of changing river conditions.

HydrologiX II is expected to be operational by June 2014, with operational beta-testing and ongoing enhancements continuing throughout the year.

4DM provided spatial modeling to support Canada’s next generation weather radar network

The infrastructure of the current Canadian weather radar network is aging. As a result, it is encountering more frequent operational problems. In addition, there is a need for additional coverage, as well as a need for more advance radar systems in areas experiencing severe weather and northern regions of Canada to improve now-casting data and information. Today, Environment Canada, through Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC), maintains 31 sites across Canada and is currently undergoing a renewal project.

In support of their radar renewal activities, 4DM provided technical services and performed a needs analysis to determine coverage gap areas across Canada, and offered options and recommendations to MSC for the strategic planning and design of the next generation of their weather radar network. The project involved conducting weather radar user requirements, thematic spatial data development, and applying a multi-criteria analytical model to create a needs index to help prioritize potential new radar sites locations and modifications to the existing locations at a macro-scale

4DM, with SENES, was selected by the CCEG to identify and evaluate potential electric transmission corridors from Red Lake to 4 Keewaytinook Okimakanak member First Nations communities

The Central Corridor Energy Group (CCEG), comprised of 14 First Nations communities, is focused on the development of power transmission and green energy projects in northwestern Ontario on behalf of its members. CCEG is interested in identifying and assessing potential corridor options for a 115kV transmission line that would connect the Red Lake transmission node to 4 Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) member communities in remote areas of northwestern Ontario.

4DM, in partnership with SENES Consultants Ltd., has been selected by CCEG to identify, analyze, and evaluate potential corridors from Red Lake to 4 KO First Nations member communities. 4DM is using a numerical spatial routing model to optimize a corridor path based on available data and input from CCEG as well as affected community members. The modeling is a consensus approach accounting for opportunities and constraints to determine a least impact corridor. These results will be utilized as a starting point for the environmental assessment planning.

4DM contracted to perform hyperspectral land classification to support hydrological modeling in the City of Surrey, BC

The City of Surrey acquired hyperspectral data using the Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) to support land surface classification for municipal transportation project and surface runoff determination, whereby hyperspectral imagery provides unique spectral signatures needed to differentiate between a variety of land covers.

4DM utilized a semi–automated process to identify the pervious (i.e. grass lawns, parks, forest, agriculture, etc.) and impervious (e.g. asphalt, concrete/gravel, etc.) areas. In conjunction with the hyperspectral imagery, a combination of available vector mapping data, orthoimagery, and processed LiDAR digital surface model was used to apply classification techniques using software tools such as LiDAR Analyst, QT Modeler, ArcGIS, and ENVI/IDL software.