Firm for Demonstration and Training on the Use of Un-crewed Aircraft System (UAS) Survey and Geological, Geotechnical and Geophysical Investigation

Asian Disaster Preparedness Center

Section I: Introduction and Background

A. About Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC)

ADPC is an autonomous international organization with a vision to reduce disaster and climate risk impacts on communities and countries in Asia and the Pacific by working with governments, development partners, international organizations, NGOs, civil society, private sector, media, and other key stakeholders. Established in 1986 as a technical capacity building center, ADPC has grown and diversified its expertise across social and physical sciences to support sustainable solutions for risk reduction across a broad range of specialist areas. With over 100 staff from 19 different nationalities and a wide range of professional expertise from atmospheric scientists to social scientists with experiences from all levels of engagement typically required for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Resilience (CR) in an effective manner. ADPC is a competent regional resource center and has seven thematic departments: ADPC Academy, Risk Governance, Climate Resilience, Urban Resilience, Health Risk Management, Preparedness for Response and Recovery, Geospatial Information. These are supported by Finance, Human Resources and Administration, and Strategic Planning departments. In addition to the departments, ADPC works on three cross-cutting themes: Gender and Diversity, Poverty and Livelihoods, and Regional and Transboundary Cooperation through permanent working committees.

For details, please refer to ADPC website at

B. About Climate Adaptation and Resilience for South Asia Project

The “Climate Adaptation and Resilience for South Asia” or CARE for South Asia project is a five-year (2020-2025), regional project supported by the World Bank, and implemented by Asia Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES). The project is supporting the region in building resilience to climate change by improving the availability of regional data and knowledge, developing guidelines, tools and capacities, and promoting climate-resilient decisions, policies and investments across key sectors. The development objective is to contribute to an enabling environment for climate resilience policies and investments in select sectors and countries in South Asia. Key stakeholders include governments and technical agencies at the regional and national level.

C. Background

In resilient transport sector, ADPC is working with Department of Roads (DoR) and Department of Local Infrastructure (DoLI) in Nepal to develop and strengthen evidence-based resilient policies, strategies and actions; investment plans that are informed by hazard, vulnerability, and risk assessments; and integrate and operationalize key plans and policies into climate resilient strategic road/rural road development.

Hazard assessments will quantify the scale, intensity and severity of various prevalent climate-induced hazards and spatially locate the susceptible areas of such hazards along with temporal variability at different climate change time horizons and scenarios. Rainfall triggered landslides are one of the prevalent hazards causing wide scale damages to the roads in the hilly and mountainous regions of Nepal. Over the past years, the occurrences of landslides have increased in the hilly regions of Nepal due to the instability of slope caused by 2015 earthquake and exacerbated by heavy monsoon rains. Scientific assessment of landslides along with the assessment of a detail landslide hazard to quantify the maximum run out distance and maximum flow height of the landslides.

Traditionally, in-situ geological-geomorphological investigation is done for the assessment of the landslide geometry. With the availability aerial photographs and satellite imagery, identification and delineation of landslides have been much easier. However, this method still has limitations for the detailed parameterization of geometric properties. The availability of commercial very high-resolution satellite images of resolution 1m and higher (such as IKONOS, Quickbird in 2001-2010) and now up to 0.3m (such as WorldView, GeoEye, Pleaides, Planet Labs etc.) has enabled detailed study of the landslides over large areas. However, the limitations still persist as single scene satellite image cannot be used to analyze the terrain parameters, which are imperative for the study of landslides. Though image platforms such as Pleaides, Cartosat-1 offers simultaneous stereo acquisition to create 3D terrain model using photogrammetric process, the cost for acquisition of imagery data and processing is relatively very high.

The recent upsurge of applications of Un-crewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) commonly termed “drone” for aerial photography has provided opportunities to map small areas in very fine resolution (<10cm GSD) by adjusting the height of the flight. Further, the advances in digital photogrammetry and computer vision technologies have enabled rapid mapping and creation of 3D surface very accurately. The advances in UAS technology, GNSS positioning technology, computer vision and machine learning algorithms for image data processing and analysis makes this technology much adaptable. Further, lower data acquisition and processing costs for smaller areas leverages the use of UAS over satellite imagery for data acquisition required for 3D analysis of terrain and geotechnical processes.

With the necessity to assess the scale of hazard and the impact of various types of landslides in roads, the services of a national agency will be required to undertake UAS based surveying and 3D mapping of selected landslides along with geological, geotechnical and geophysical investigation of selected representative landslides to support capacity building and institutionalization of the approach for detailed landslide hazard assessment in the demonstration areas of Bagmati and Madhesh Province in Nepal under CARE for South Asia project.

Section II. Objective and Scope of the Services:

A. Objective:

The main objective of the consultancy services is to undertake demonstration and training on the use of UAS based survey and 3D mapping, and to undertake geological, geotechnical and geophysical investigation of the selected landslides to support capacity building and institutionalization of the approach for detailed landslide hazard assessment of selected 4 (four) landslide areas in Bagmati and Madhesh Province in Nepal located in Churia, Middle Mountains and High Mountains physiographic regions. The selection of 4 (four) landslide areas for the study will be done based on the landslide susceptibility assessment undertaken by the CARE for South Asia project and in consultation with focal agencies DoR and DoLI.

B. Scope of Work:

The scope of work is as follows:

  • Consultations with the CARE for South Asia’s Project Implementation Unit (PIU), Transport Sector team in Nepal and focal agencies DoR and DoLI to understand the key activities, data requirements, deliverables and timeline.
  • Preparation and presentation of methodology, detailed work plan, UAS flight mission plan, deliverables plan to the project and DoR and DoLI.
  • Coordinate with DoR and DoLI for formal letters/recommendations to obtain necessary permissions for UAS flight operations and photo acquisitions, security clearance from relevant authorities. DoR and DoLI will facilitate by issuing necessary reference/recommendation letters to obtain UAS operation permission from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) if required (not necessary for UAS under 2kg weight), Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), District Administration Offices (DAO) and other relevant authorities.
  • Obtain necessary UAS (drone) flight operation and aerial survey approvals/permissions from the concerned authorities in the district and central government as required.
  • Inform the surrounding communities (if there are settlements around) of the purpose of the survey.
  • Calibrate the UAS and sensor/camera equipment as necessary to ensure accurate data capture. Plan the UAS missions to acquire adequate number of images with appropriate side (minimum 65 %) and forward (minimum 75 %) overlaps between consecutive images necessary to generating dense point cloud for height information from stereo pairs of photos.
  • Establish necessary horizontal and vertical ground controls using Differential GPS (DGPS) to ensure accuracy of UAS data.
  • Collected necessary Independent Check Points (ICP) for accuracy assessment including check points for vertical height accuracy assessment using DGPS/RTK.
  • Undertake UAS flight missions to take orthometric/vertical photographs and oblique photographs of the selected landslides and surrounding road segments. UAS missions shall be done with cross-flight path at different flying heights to cover the landslide under study and adjoining road head area.
  • Develop ortho-photos and oblique photos of selected landslides required for detailed geotechnical study for the assessment of intensities of various types of landslides hazards.
  • Generate dense 3D point cloud using photogrammetric process.
  • Generate very high-resolution Digital Surface Model (DSM) and high accuracy Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of 0.25 m vertical resolution required for detailed morphological study of the selected landslides.
  • Generate comprehensive GIS Database of the roads features and road assets affected by the landslide from the very high resolution orthophotos. The extracted features will be developed in geo-database in vector format. These data sets will facilitate diversified queries to assess exposure and physical vulnerability of the road due to the landslides under study.
  • Undertake horizontal and vertical accuracy assessment using ICPs and discuss the accuracy levels of the data products to validate the data.
  • Generate 3D model of the selected landslides for detailed hazard assessments and designing the slope stabilization and slope protection works.
  • Undertake geological and geotechnical field investigation to collect in-situ information of landslide site condition, geotechnical and geological information; and existing engineering environment/condition including as prescribed in Annex 1 attached.
  • Undertake Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) tests, data processing and interpretation to collect information on sub-surface lithological conditions, depth and geometry of slip surface, ground water condition and other parameters to aid slope stability assessment, see Annex 1D
  • Collect undisturbed soil samples (at least two) in each selected landslide from the zone close to the basal rupture surface or slip surface using steel Shelby tube sampler or other appropriate core sampler.
  • Undertake geotechnical laboratory analysis of the undisturbed core samples in a recognized government geotechnical laboratory or government accredited geotechnical laboratory. The list of required laboratory analysis is prescribed in Annex 2.
  • Conduct one-day sensitization and training presentation to orient focal agencies DoR and DoLI on the use of UAS based survey for detailed landslide hazard assessment. The training shall also contain introduction on risk management for operating UAS. The contents of the training shall be developed in consultation with ADPC.
  • Demonstrate the post processing technology of collected images and requirements to do so.
  • Conduct one-day on-site demonstration (in Bagmati) of UAS operations for surveying and mapping of landslides
  • Conduct 3-5 days short training on the analysis and use of UAS generated data for slope stabilization and landslide mitigations to the project team and to the engineers from DoR and DoLI.
  • Provide support to CARE for South Asia Transport Sector team in developing standard approach for application of UAS based survey and data analysis for slope stabilization and landslide mitigation interventions.
  • Conduct a technical capacity assessment of DoR and DoLI officials in using UAS for landslide risk management and develop a training of trainers’ program including a training curriculum.

Technical Specification/Requirement:

Following technical details/specifications for UAS survey are to be followed:

  • Multi-rotor of fixed winged platform UAS (drone) permitted in the country.
  • The UAS platform and systems are expected to have multiple safety mechanisms, such as to respond to a loss of control (C2 link) event. Failsafe should have been tested; for example, the parachute should be tested if equipped.
  • Necessary ground control points (horizontal and vertical) using dual frequency DGPS.
  • Multiple cross-path flights as necessary for steep/difficult terrain to avoid “occlusion error”.
  • Adequate number of images to be collected by UAS with adequate side (65 %) and forward (75 %) overlap with a view to generating the height information from stereo pairs of photos.
  • Vertical and/or oblique photographs (in raw/tiff/jpeg format) taken at specified heights to acquired GSD 5-10 cm using multispectral (RGB) and/or Visible Near Infrared (RGB + NIR) sensor.
  • Photo processing using standard UAS /digital photogrammetry software system.
  • 3D point cloud generation (in LAS format)
  • Digital Surface Model (DSM) and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) @ 0.25 m vertical resolution (in tiff format).
  • Ortho-photo images of 5-10 cm GSD (in tiff format).
  • 3D model of landslide (obj format).

UAS (drone) flying operations risk management:

Note: It is anticipated that the UAS flights conducted will be both of Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), contained within restricted areas/airspace to reduce air risk (with the permission of the Civil Aviation Authority and Air Navigation Service Provider, and over sparsely populated areas to mitigated ground risk. All UAS component importation (including batteries), frequency spectrum use, and data capture and management, must be as per the GoN rules and regulations or world’s best practices in their absence.

  • As part of the UAS flight mission plan, the Consulting Firm shall conduct an operational risk assessment (ORA) commensurate with the complexity and risk of each UAS flying operation. The ORA should be part of the Firm’s Operations Manual and shall be submitted to the project and DoR/DoLI prior to the application to the competent authorities in the district and central government as required during the process for obtaining flying approvals/permissions.
  • The Operations Manual will describe the flying operations as a Concept of Operations – (ConOps) and address risk management for the various UAS survey works and should abide by the acceptable means of compliance process adopted by the European Union Regulation (EU) 2019/947 under Article 11 – Rules for conducting an operational risk assessment[1].
  • The application to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) for approval of UAS (drone) flying operations shall be as per the CAAN published template[2]. Any flying operations must either abide by, or request permission for an exemption from or an alternative means of compliance with, all relevant rules and regulations related to the operation of UAS (drones) in Nepal, with particular attention to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal’s Unmanned Aircraft System Requirements (UASR)[3]
  • The UAS (drone) Operations risk assessment (ORA) shall be based on the planned UAS flying operation, with an individual section prepared for each differing flying operation. The following shall be included:
    • A data lifecycle management assessment
    • Privacy and data management addressing digital concerns of how the acquired data are used, distributed and accessed, i.e., there may be digital divide, privacy, and bias related concerns resulting from very high-resolution imagery.
  • The ORA will be conducted under two broad headings:
    • Part 1: safety risk management (air risk and ground risk), and
    • Part 2: all other risks and hazards.
  • When necessary, due to the risk from each operation, the ORA shall address the following topics:
    • Safety Risk Management,
    • Security risk management, especially cybersecurity,
    • Environmental hazards,
    • Social standards and community engagement,
    • Occupational health, safety, and environment (OHS&E) considerations,
    • Geophysical risk (operations near bordering countries), and
    • Reputational damage (to industry and organizations/ government bodies linked to the operation).

Insurance and liability aspects:

  • Liability and related insurance requirements will be the responsibility of the Consulting Firm and shall be proportionate and as per the World Bank Group’s Individual Country Insurance Requirements Matrix[4].


  • The consulting firm shall submit an Inception Report with detailed methodology, work plan and flight mission plan along with Operational Risk Assessment (ORA) report and mitigation plan for UAS survey works.
  • The consulting firm shall submit a UAS Survey Field Report upon completion of all the field activities with parameters/data of flight missions, camera calibrations, ground control points etc. The field report shall also contain post-flight mission report detailing the experiences, success, issues/barriers and solutions implemented in the flight missions for future references.
  • The consulting firm shall submit a Geological and Geotechnical Field Investigation Report along with ERT reports upon completion of all the field activities with collected field data as prescribed in Annex 1A-1D.
  • The consulting firm shall submit a Geotechnical Laboratory Analysis Report upon completion of all laboratory analysis of soil samples as prescribed in Annex 2.
  • The consulting firm shall submit the UAS Survey Final Report incorporating the methods for data acquisition, data processing, data accuracy assessment and the metadata of the final data products.
  • The consulting firm shall submit the Geological & Geotechnical Field Investigation, ERT and Laboratory Analysis Final Report incorporating the method for field investigation and laboratory analysis along with the field, ERT and laboratory analysis final data.
  • The consulting firm shall submit Sensitization and Training Contents (presentation slides and short technical notes) on different aspects of UAS based survey for landslide mapping and hazard assessment.
  • The consulting firm shall submit Training Manual for short training (3-5 days) on the analysis and use of UAS generated data for slope stabilization and landslide mitigations.

Data Outputs:

  • Vertical and oblique photographs (in raw/tiff/jpeg format)
  • 3D Point Cloud (in LAS format).
  • Digital Surface Model (DSM) and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) @ 0.5-0.25 m vertical resolution (in tiff format).
  • Ortho-photo images of 5-10 cm GSD (in tiff format).
  • 3D model of landslide (obj format).
  • Geological and Geotechnical in-situ investigation data (as prescribed in Annex 1A-1C in digital worksheet/database format).
  • Geophysical ERT investigation raw data, results (as prescribed in Annex 1D), and Interpretation report.
  • Geotechnical laboratory analysis data (as prescribed in Annex 2 in digital worksheet/database format).

Capacity Building/Training Deliverables:

  • One-day sensitization and training presentation on different aspects of UAS based survey for landslide mapping and hazard assessment conducted (in Kathmandu, Nepal).
  • One-day on-site demonstration of UAS operations for surveying and mapping of landslides conducted (in Bagmati, Nepal).
  • Short training (3-5 days) on the analysis and use of UAS generated data for slope stabilization and landslide mitigations conducted (in Kathmandu, Nepal).


[2] Application for RPA/DRONE Registration & Unique Identification Number (UIN):



Section III. Selection, and Others:

A. Selection Criteria:

Successful EOI:

  • The National Consulting Firm is expected to be a duly registered National Consulting Firm (or a joint venture/a consortium jointly and severally liable to the contract, if selected) with the appropriate capabilities and relevant experience to execute the services to undertake UAS (drone) based survey and 3D mapping of landslides, road and other infrastructures in the Churia, Middle Mountain and High Mountain regions of Nepal in the last 5 years.
  • The National Consulting Firm is expected to apply appropriate risk and performance requirements, including safety, security, environmental, and, if necessary, community engagement. These are particularly important if UAS will fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLoS), over populated areas, or in airspace used by other aircraft.
  • The National Consulting Firm is expected to provide liability and related insurance requirements adequate for the flying settings.
  • The National Consulting Firm service provider (or the consortium) is also expected to have capabilities and relevant experiences to undertake geological and geotechnical field investigation, geophysical investigation (ERT) and required laboratory analysis for landslides and other geotechnical/geophysical studies in the Churia, Middle Mountain and High Mountain regions of Nepal in the last 5 years.
  • The National Consulting Firm is expected to have thorough understanding of the requirements and administration processes for acquiring permissions /authorizations for operating UAS/drone and acquisition of aerial photographs.
  • The National Consulting Firm is expected to have necessary UAS/drone and camera equipment along with required DGPS and other supporting equipment.
  • The National Consulting Firm is expected to have UAS data processing and analysis software system and trained human resources available for the assignment.
  • This assignment requires a team of national experts/analyst and technicians to undertake the UAS flights and data acquisitions, data processing and development of ortho-photo, point cloud, DEM/DTM and 3D mapping along with relevant human resources to conduct in-situ geological and geotechnical investigation, ERT tests; and sensitization workshop and training sessions. The National Consulting Firm may propose necessary human resources to undertake the assignment within time frame.
  • The National Consulting Firm should have proven experience of working with federal and provincial government agencies, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UN or international agencies in Nepal.
  • The National Consulting Firm should have good understanding of landslides hazards, road infrastructure in Chure, Middle Mountain and High Mountain regions of Nepal.
  • The National Consulting Firm should have following essential technical expertise/human resources to complete activities and tasks and deliver quality outputs on time. However, these are indicative and the Consultant is encouraged to propose additional inputs and a bill of quantity required to complete the assignment within the schedule.
  • UAS/Aerial Mapping Expert
  • Drone Operator/Pilot
  • UAS/Aerial Photo Data Processing Analyst/Technician
  • UAS Data Processing and Analysis Trainer
  • Geotechnical Engineer/Engineering Geologist/Landslide Expert
  • Field Geologist(s)
  • Geophysicist(s)
  • Other as necessary

B. Selection Method

  • The National Consulting Firm (or a joint venture/ a consortium) will be selected in accordance with ADPC’s procurement process and in compliance with the World Bank Procurement Regulations. Consulting Firm will be selected based on Consultant’s Qualification-based Selection (CQS).

C. Reporting Relationships

  • The National Consulting Firm (or a joint venture/ a consortium) will report to the Project Director, CARE for South Asia Project, Bangkok (Thailand) and work in close coordination with Country Project Lead, CARE for South Asia Project in Nepal.

D. Contract Duration

  • The contract duration will be for three (3) months. It is important to note that the National Consulting Firm will be expected to produce report deliverables, survey and mapping data, geological and geotechnical investigation data in four phases of the assignment.

How to apply

Interested Firms can submit the completed Expression of Interest (EOI) and submit the relevant documents as described in the REOI and TOR to [email protected] to the attention of Ms. Kulradtha Sukprasert