Use this identifier to quote or link this document: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/40714

Testing low-altitude infrared digital photography from a mini-UAV to retrieve information for biological conservation
Lobo Aleu, Agustín
Satellite remote sensing imagery is used for forestry, conservation and environmental applications, but insufficient spatial resolution, and, in particular, unavailability of images at the precise timing required for a given application, often prevent achieving a fully operational stage. Airborne remote sensing has the advantage of custom-tuned sensors, resolution and timing, but its price prevents using it as a routine technique for the mentioned fields. Some Unmanned Aerial Vehicles might provide a “third way” solution as low-cost techniques for acquiring remotely sensed information, under close control of the end-user, albeit at the expense of lower quality instrumentation and instability. This report evaluates a light remote sensing system based on a remotely-controlled mini-UAV (ATMOS-3) equipped with a color infra-red camera (VEGCAM-1) designed and operated by CATUAV. We conducted a testing mission over a Mediterranean landscape dominated by an evergreen woodland of Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and (Holm) oak (Quercus ilex) in the Montseny National Park (Catalonia, NE Spain). We took advantage of state-of-the-art ortho-rectified digital aerial imagery (acquired by the Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya over the area during the previous year) and used it as quality reference. In particular, we paid attention to: 1) Operationality of flight and image acquisition according to a previously defined plan; 2) Radiometric and geometric quality of the images; and 3) Operational use of the images in the context of applications. We conclude that the system has achieved an operational stage regarding flight activities, although with meteorological limits set by wind speed and turbulence. Appropriate landing areas can be sometimes limiting also, but the system is able to land on small and relatively rough terrains such as patches of grassland or short matorral, and we have operated the UAV as far as 7 km from the control unit. Radiometric quality is sufficient for interactive analysis, but probably insufficient for automated processing. A forthcoming camera is supposed to greatly improve radiometric quality and consistency. Conventional GPS positioning through time synchronization provides coarse orientation of the images, with no roll information.
Nota: Informe relacionat amb el titulat "Adquisició d’imatges en infraroig proper de baixa alçària sobre zones d’interès al Montseny (I)", del mateix autor.
2009-04-20
504 - Ciències del medi ambient
Fotografia infraroja
Percepció remota -- Aplicacions
Sistemes d'informació geogràfica
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Report
Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals
Reports on Environmental Sciences;9
         

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