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Ecosystem science requirements for uas remote sensing


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A Presentation on the ecological application of UAS technology - Presented as a Keynote at the first UAS4RS conference

Published in: Environment
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Ecosystem science requirements for uas remote sensing

  1. 1. What can UAS Remote Sensing do for ecology? Ben Sparrow Ausplots Director With help from Peter Scarth
  2. 2. Remote Sensor Ecologist Did I tell you about our latest UAS? It has 2.4Ghz spread spectrum, accelerator, gimbal, gyroscope inertial control system to take care of pitch roll and yaw, LiPo batteries, collecting true colour, IR, Hyperspectral and Lidar imagery! (Eyes Glaze over)….. Er Cool – Can it tell me how much vegetation cover there is? Error! What are the Problems? Translation problem
  3. 3. Then went looking for: “Push”
  4. 4. +
  5. 5. Google images search: ”Technology looking for an application.”
  6. 6. Then look for solution: Problem “Pull”
  7. 7. R. L. Ackoff, (1989) “From data to wisdom”, Journal of Applied Systems Analysis, vol. 16, pp. 3-9. Rowley, J. (2007) The wisdom hierarchy: representations of the DIKW hierarchy. Journal of Information Science. 33:163-180. This is what we (as Remote Sensors) like! This is where we make a difference! Knowledge and Wisdom allow us to affect positive change Changes in management Real world outcomes
  8. 8. Model Development & Operationalisation Research & Informatics to measure, model, evaluate Extension & Outreach & Collaborative learning GAPS
  9. 9. Model Development & Operationalisation Research & Informatics to measure, model, evaluate Extension & Outreach & Collaborative learning Scalable, Understandable Platform Flexible, Responsive Delivery
  10. 10. Don’t care about the platform
  11. 11. Or what is under the bonnet ( The Tech Specs)
  12. 12. But we do want “Oh, what a feeling!” because it “Just Works” and “Doesn’t Break”
  13. 13. Not interested in processing steps
  14. 14. Remove technical complexity (the Collinearity Equations give us nightmares)
  15. 15. Don’t make life harder in the field!
  16. 16. A “good” Remote sensing journal (RSE) search for “UAS” A “Good”methods based Ecology Journal search for “UAS” Pls refer to Arko’s far more robust analysis.
  17. 17. Homework 1. Befriend an ecologist 2. Ask them what information that they need 3. Give it to them! (Give the customer what they want/need - or better still actively collaborate)
  18. 18. Another reason to adopt an ecologist!
  19. 19. Eyre, T.J., Fisher, A., Hunt, L.P. & Kutt, A.S. (2011) Measure it to better manage it: a biodiversity monitoring framework for the Australian rangelands. The Rangeland Journal, 33, 239-253. All types of monitoring valid & Important All need to work together for optimum results I’ll focus on Surveillance monitoring And it’s interaction with landscape monitoring Because • Know more about it • Provides a huge range of opportunities for UAS – needs information that is needed that you are well placed to provide!
  20. 20. NOT Because we want to know if there is a problem, but we don’t have the resources to have the fire department everywhere all the time!
  21. 21. Ausplots • Standardised method and data delivery • Continental in scale • Samples all environments • Wide range of variables sampled • Collected in a RS friendly way • Wide range in Surveillance information needs • Desire to future proof. •
  22. 22. So what is the Pull? What DO ecologists need? What opportunities does that provide UAS? / Ecology: The study of the distribution, abundance and interactions of organisms • What is it? • Where is it? • How much of it is there? • What condition is it in? • Composition • Function • Structure
  23. 23. So what are the Opportunities for UAS?
  24. 24. Opportunities UAS ability to have Rapid revisit times Provides a flexibility to meet timely needs not available at the same scale in the same time periods Capture events as they are happening e.g Fires, Flood and Crop disease Short term change - Lower information content than field based survey, but also lower time of acquisition and hence $$
  25. 25. Opportunities More frequent re-visits in the context of surveillance monitoring - We’ll only be able to afford to collect field data at our sites ~ 1x per decade - UAS can provide less information content (Overall cover v’s cover per species) , but more frequently ( Every year or two) in a cheaper and more rapid way
  26. 26. Opportunities Patterns at the scale of the site – EG SASMDD0001
  27. 27. Opportunities Info on Micro-topography – has a big influence on vegetation patterning
  28. 28. Opportunities Information on Vegetation Structure / Height Lots of examples over the past few days – Witnessed it being done with LEGO inside an hour and a half!
  29. 29. Opportunities Upscaling From Our good quality field data – Truth To UAS data To regional products And Continental And Global
  30. 30. Opportunities Easy to use? Consider this a challenge! It’s not dead – It’s just resting!
  31. 31. Opportunities An opportunity to move from a research to an operational focus. A Maturity challenge - Right on the cusp now? - Getting the final polish right can take a while Has the opportunity to be cost effective if full cost calculated and operationalised.
  32. 32. Opportunities Future proof – The ability to re-process the data into the future as new techniques become available True chance to be X disciplinary A wise man once told me “That truly novel discoveries are more likely to occur where disciplines interact” UAS + RS+ Ecology will provide the best outcomes.
  33. 33. Opportunities An Opportunity to be influential – Affect on ground outcomes Make the world a better place
  34. 34. Currently problems But There is also a strong need A strong need creates great opportunities. Great opportunities sometimes need a little encouragement…