An eye in the sky: using drone technology to monitor freshwaters

Drones, freshwater ecosystems and maybe using even open software such as GRASS GIS to orthorectify the pictures taken from above. I guess a very promising combination of challenging tasks and appropriate tools.

The Freshwater Blog

Aeryon Scout drone, increasingly used for mapping global environments.  Image: Wikipedia Aeryon Scout drone, increasingly used for mapping global environments. Image: Wikipedia

Developments in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology are providing new, potentially cost-effective opportunities for ecologists and conservationists to monitor and protect ecosystems, particularly in remote areas.  Widely known for their (often debated) use in remote warfare, there is increasing consensus that drones – as UAVs are often known – have the potential to be used for more positive goals, giving new high-tech means of understanding and potentially protecting global environments.

Lian Pin Koh outlined the potential of drones for conservation in a 2013 TED talk, arguing that they provide an affordable means of mapping biodiversity at higher resolution than current satellite remote sensing technologies; and that they are useful for monitoring protected areas for threats such as poaching and deforestation.  Three journal articles – by Koh and Serge Wich in 2012Karen Anderson and Kevin J Gaston in 2013

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