Building flexible and responsive processing and delivery systems is key to getting information used by researchers, policy agents and the public
There are typically three distinct processes we tackle to get product uptake: undertake research, operationalise the validated research, and deliver information and garner feedback in an appropriate way.
In many cases however, the gaps between these process elements are large and lead to poor outcomes.
Good research may be “lost” and not adopted, There may be resistance to uptake by government or NGOs of significantly better operational products based on open data Lack of accessibility means that there is no use of interactive science outputs to improve cross disciplinary science or to start a dialog with citizens.
So one of the the most important tasks, if we wish to have broad uptake of spatial information and accelerate further research, is to link these processes together in a formal but flexible way.
One of the ways to operationalize research output is by building a platform that can take research code and scale it across much larger areas. In remote sensing, this is typically a system that has access to current and historical corrected imagery with a processing pipeline built over the top.
To reduce the demand on high level scientific programmers and allowing cross disciplinary researchers to hack and play and refine, this pipeline needs to be easy to use, collaborative and link to existing tools to encourage code experimentation and reuse.
It is also critical to have efficient, tight integration with information delivery and extension components so that the science relevant to your user is available quickly and efficiently.
The rapid expansion of open data licensing has helped this process, but building top-down web portals and tools without flexibility and regard for end user needs has limited the use of earth observation information in many areas.
And if you get these gaps filled, the parts talking to each other, then the science becomes much more broadly applicable. Others can pick up the outputs in the location and format they need, integrate them in their work and build on them.
Ecosystem science requirements for uas remote sensing
What can UAS Remote
Sensing do for
With help from Peter Scarth
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?
What are the Problems?
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
Changes in management
Real world outcomes
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
• Know more about it
• Provides a huge range of opportunities
– needs information that is needed that
you are well placed to provide!
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!
• Standardised method and
• Continental in scale
• Samples all environments
• Wide range of variables
• Collected in a RS friendly way
• Wide range in Surveillance
• Desire to future proof.
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
• What is it?
• Where is it?
• How much of it is there?
• What condition is it in?
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 $$
More frequent re-visits in the context of surveillance
- 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
Patterns at the scale of the site – EG SASMDD0001
Info on Micro-topography – has a big influence on
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!
Our good quality field data –
To UAS data
To regional products
Easy to use?
Consider this a
It’s not dead – It’s just resting!
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.
Future proof – The ability to re-process the
data into the future as new techniques
True chance to be X disciplinary
A wise man once told me “That truly novel
discoveries are more likely to occur where
UAS + RS+ Ecology will provide the best
An Opportunity to be
influential – Affect on
Make the world a better
But There is also a strong need
A strong need creates great opportunities.
Great opportunities sometimes need a little encouragement…