Researchers deploy drones to study the ecosystem

Researchers deploy drones to study the ecosystem

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Australia: University of Tasmania researchers have deployed a wide range of sensors aboard unmanned aircraft to map and monitor different aspects of the environment at ultra-high resolutions on demand.

The TerraLuma research project at the University of Tasmania aims to develop novel tools and algorithms for environmental remote sensing applications and aerial surveys using unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). Up-to-date and accurate spatial data are of crucial importance for sustainable management of our ecosystems. UASs offer an exciting and novel opportunity to map the environment in greater detail than ever before.

The project team has been working with UASs and specialised sensors since 2009. One of the project’s unique aspects is the integration of multiple sensors—visible, multispectral and hyperspectral, thermal and LiDAR—to map and monitor different aspects of the environment at ultra-high resolution on demand.

The team has worked on a range of applications, including precision agriculture and viticulture; mapping and monitoring vegetation in remote locations such as Antarctica; deriving 3D tree structure for forest inventories; landslide mapping and deformation monitoring; 3D stock pile and quarry surveys and volume estimations; coastal erosion assessments; mapping of geological structures; and mapping of natural vegetation communities such as saltmarshes.

Source: EI Journal