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Using drones to map
geomorphological features
in the Subantarctics
One of the keys to better
understanding climate change
is to paint a more accurate picture
of environmental conditions
in ...
A good place to
measure
environmental
change over such
long timescales?
New
Subantarctic Islands
In November 2014, a team of
researchers from the Climate
Change Research Centre at the
University of New South Wales
set o...
This team decided
to map the
Musgrave
geomorphological
features, since
these provide
evidence of past
glaciation
complex geomorphology, so we
wanted to map it, in high resolution,
and create a 3D model that we could
use to identify and...
So why did the researchers
decide to use a drone?
No other method
of data collection
could provide the
imagery required
in the time
available.
There were
3 key reasons
Speed
#1
#2
Difficult terrain
High-resolution
imagery
#3
To map this area would
have taken us weeks using
traditional in-situ field
explains
resolution of the Landsat
imagery is 30 metres, much
lower than the 8.8 cm per
pixel our eBee achieved
she adds
choice to use
a senseFly
eBee also
brought an
additional
benefit
low noise is important
when working in protected areas
that contain large bird
says Thomas
But carrying out the drone flights
was not all plain
The Subantarctic islands are
located in the latitudes of the
strong t...
How did
they do it?
When planning each
eMotion software, the
team specified a
desired ground
resolution of 8.8
cm/pixel, with image
overlaps o...
The team took a total
of 152 high-
resolution RGB
images over the
course of two
20-25 minute flights
The result?
These images were used to create the digital
surface model required to identify
geomorphological features
incredible, allowing us to identify a moraine
feature that we had not picked up at all on
the Landsat imagery reports
The ...
1 Identify site
of interest
2 Identify
suitable area for
drone to map
3 Identify take-
off/landing
locations
4 Wait for
su...
PROJECT STATISTICS
For more information about using drones
for environmental applications, visit:
www.sensefly.com/applications/
environmenta...
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Using senseFly Mapping Drones to Map Geomorphological Features in the Subantartics

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Landscape mapping with drones (UAVs/UAS/RPAS) doesn’t get more challenging than flying over remote, windy islands without disturbing the birds, as one team of climate change researchers discovered…

Published in: Environment
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Using senseFly Mapping Drones to Map Geomorphological Features in the Subantartics

  1. 1. Using drones to map geomorphological features in the Subantarctics
  2. 2. One of the keys to better understanding climate change is to paint a more accurate picture of environmental conditions in the distant past
  3. 3. A good place to measure environmental change over such long timescales? New Subantarctic Islands
  4. 4. In November 2014, a team of researchers from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales set out to do just
  5. 5. This team decided to map the Musgrave geomorphological features, since these provide evidence of past glaciation
  6. 6. complex geomorphology, so we wanted to map it, in high resolution, and create a 3D model that we could use to identify and quantify past Dr. Zoë Thomas, a research associate By then taking sediment cores, we could also get an idea of what the past vegetation and environmental
  7. 7. So why did the researchers decide to use a drone?
  8. 8. No other method of data collection could provide the imagery required in the time available. There were 3 key reasons
  9. 9. Speed #1
  10. 10. #2 Difficult terrain
  11. 11. High-resolution imagery #3
  12. 12. To map this area would have taken us weeks using traditional in-situ field explains
  13. 13. resolution of the Landsat imagery is 30 metres, much lower than the 8.8 cm per pixel our eBee achieved she adds
  14. 14. choice to use a senseFly eBee also brought an additional benefit
  15. 15. low noise is important when working in protected areas that contain large bird says Thomas
  16. 16. But carrying out the drone flights was not all plain The Subantarctic islands are located in the latitudes of the strong trade winds, so finding windows of opportunity to fly the drone was always going to be a challenge says
  17. 17. How did they do it?
  18. 18. When planning each eMotion software, the team specified a desired ground resolution of 8.8 cm/pixel, with image overlaps of 70% lateral and 75% longitudinal.
  19. 19. The team took a total of 152 high- resolution RGB images over the course of two 20-25 minute flights
  20. 20. The result?
  21. 21. These images were used to create the digital surface model required to identify geomorphological features
  22. 22. incredible, allowing us to identify a moraine feature that we had not picked up at all on the Landsat imagery reports The ability to identify features like this really helps us improve our understanding of glacier flow lines
  23. 23. 1 Identify site of interest 2 Identify suitable area for drone to map 3 Identify take- off/landing locations 4 Wait for suitable weather conditions 5 Fly the drone 6 Process drone images & generate 3D DSM 7 Analyse drone data PROJECT WORKFLOW
  24. 24. PROJECT STATISTICS
  25. 25. For more information about using drones for environmental applications, visit: www.sensefly.com/applications/ environmental-protection.html

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