Preliminary Assessment of Low-cost Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for Creating Aerial Photographs for Natural Resource Research

Eric Compas

Abstract


The recent significant reduction in the cost of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) has expanded access to this technology to researchers in a variety of fields. For aerial mapping, UAS holds the promise to substantially increase the resolution of imagery and provide better control over when imagery is produced. In the natural resources, UAS could greatly expand the type of research questions that can be asked at a relatively low cost. This research assessed the utility and characteristics of low-cost UAS aerial photography for natural resource applications. Four craft,  commercial fixed-wing and multirotor and handbuilt fixed-wing and multirotor, were tested in this study. Our findings conclude that UAS aerial photography is approximately 10x more detailed than traditional aerial photography, but issues with spatial accuracy and available flight weather may limit its use for some applications.

Keywords


unmanned aerial systems; UAS; unmanned aerial vehicles; UAV; drone; aerial photography; photogrammetry

Full Text:

PDF Web

References


Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). 2013. Radio Controlled Model Aircraft Operation Utilizing Failsafe, Stabilization and Autopilot Systems (AMA Document #560). Available at http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/560.pdf (accessed May 15, 2014).

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). 2014. AMA National Model Aircraft Safety Code. Available at https://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf (accessed May 15, 2014).

Campbell, J. 2002. Introduction to Remote Sensing. 3rd ed. New York, NY: CRC Press. pp. 654.

Hirokawa, R., Kubo, D., Suzuki, S., Meguro, J., and Suzuki, T. 2007. “A Small UAV for Immediate Hazard Map Generation.†In AIAA Infotech@Aerospace 2007 Conference and Exhibit. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Accessed August 7, 2015. http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2007-2725.

Hunt, E.R., Hively, W.D., Fujikawa, S.J., Linden, D.S., Daughtry, C. and McCarty, G.W. 2010. “Acquisition of NIR-Green-Blue Digital Photographs from Unmanned Aircraft for Crop Monitoring.†Remote Sensing 2 (1): 290–305.

Jancosek, M. and Pajdla, T. 2012. Multi-View Reconstruction Preserving Weakly-Supported Surfaces. IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition 2011. http://cmp.felk.cvut.cz/~jancom1/JancosekCVPR11.pdf. Accessed June 5, 2014.

Jones IV, G.P., Pearlstine, L.G. and Percival, H.F. 2006. “An Assessment of Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Wildlife Research.†Wildlife Society Bulletin 34 (3): 750–58.

Laliberte, A.S., Herrick, J.E., Rango, A. and Winters, C. 2010. “Acquisition, Orthorectification, and Object-Based Classification of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Imagery for Rangeland Monitoring.†Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 76 (6): 661–72.

Rabatel, G., Gorretta, N. and Labbe, S. 2012. “Getting Simultaneous Red and near Infrared Bands from a Single Digital Camera for Plant Monitoring Applications.†In . Valencia, Spain. http://cigr.ageng2012.org/images/fotosg/tabla_137_C1122.pdf.

Rango, Albert, and Andrea S. Laliberte. 2010. “Impact of Flight Regulations on Effective Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Natural Resources Applications.†Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 4 (1): 043539–043539.

Samant, H., and Datta, A. 2014. “Domesticating the Drones.†Geospatial World. 5 (5):34-40.

Westoby, M. J., J. Brasington, N. F. Glasser, M. J. Hambrey, and J. M. Reynolds. 2012. “‘Structure-from-Motion’ Photogrammetry: A Low-Cost, Effective Tool for Geoscience Applications.†Geomorphology 179: 300–314.

Wu, C. 2014. VisualSFM: A Visual Structure from Motion System. http://ccwu.me/vsfm Accessed June 5, 2014.

Zongjian, L. 2008. “UAV for Mapping—low Altitude Photogrammetric Survey.†International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Beijing, China. http://www.isprs.org/proceedings/XXXVII/congress/1_pdf/202.pdf.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.17307/wsc.v0i0.146

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.