UAV Aerial Imagery As Isaac Newton said " What goes up, must come down" and this of course holds true for UAVs! Our UAV is currently in repair after a mild crash, but will be back in the air soon!
We are in the process of developing an Unmanned Aviation Vehicle (UAV) or drone coupled with the ability to capture aerial imagery using open source software (aka. free universal access) and information.
We are using a modified 3DR X8 quadcopter with a Pixhawk autopilot system and a Canon SX260 camera with a gimbal for image stabilization.
With the UAV we are able to:
Program auto-pilot grid flights of an area and take aerial photographs or video at set distances or time intervals.
Create a single composite geo-referenced image of the area.
An example of 6 images taken by UAV.
The composite from the 6 single images to the left.
A video taken with a GoPro 3+ camera mounted on the brushless tarot gimbal for stabilization. This was a pilot flight, notice the fish eye lens which should not be used for accurate aerial analyses.
We will use these composite geo-referenced images to:
Monitor and measure gaps necessary for increased forage grasses produced by fire treatments in rangeland treatment plots.
Monitor size and repeat visitation of feral swine rooting and impacts in pastures and wetlands.
Monitor and measure canopy encroachment pre- and post-burning events.
Interested in learning more about how you can design your own UAV for aerial imagery...start by learning some of the basic terminology and then check out the tutorials and links.