Great Victoria Desert LiDAR Malleefowl Mound Detection

The Challenge

In December 2018, Great Victoria Desert Biodiversity Trust Fund (GVDBT) and AngloGold Ashanti Australia Limited contracted Anditi for aerial laser scanning and aerial photography of 1675km of 600m wide corridors, totalling approximately 1005 km² of the Great Victoria Desert. This was commercialised as a precursor to finding existing and new Malleefowl mounds through automated analysis.

The Solution

The aerial survey was undertaken in extremely hot conditions in January 2019 and the resultant point cloud totalled 40GB of data. We processed the raw laser point cloud and generated a high resolution DTM that was accurate enough to find features as low as 50mm high. This information was then used for analysis and detection of Malleefowl mound-like features using our proprietary smart algorithms. On project completion, a comprehensive report was compiled for the clients covering all facets of the survey.

The Outcome

Over 100 potential Malleefowl mounds were identified. Having a location for potential mounds means that in a huge area of arid, remote country field researchers are able to go directly to these locations for verification and to determine whether the mounds are active. This saves the huge effort of large ground crews trying to find the proverbial “needle in the haystack”. It increases effectiveness and value for scarce environmental funding, as well as reducing Work Health and Safety risks.

Cost Reduction

Project completed for a tenth of traditional method

Over 100 mounds located

Consistently applied method that improves rate of identification

Approved industry standard

The innovative technique has been approved as the new industry standard for Malleefowl Mound Identification