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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020586

Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Postfire Vegetation Survey Campaigns through Large and Heterogeneous Areas: Opportunities and Challenges

1
Biodiversity and Environmental Management Department, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of León, 24071 León, Spain
2
Mining Technology, Topography and Structures Department, University of León, 22400 Ponferrada, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV or Drones for Remote Sensing Applications)
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Abstract

This study evaluated the opportunities and challenges of using drones to obtain multispectral orthomosaics at ultra-high resolution that could be useful for monitoring large and heterogeneous burned areas. We conducted a survey using an octocopter equipped with a Parrot SEQUOIA multispectral camera in a 3000 ha framework located within the perimeter of a megafire in Spain. We assessed the quality of both the camera raw imagery and the multispectral orthomosaic obtained, as well as the required processing capability. Additionally, we compared the spatial information provided by the drone orthomosaic at ultra-high spatial resolution with another image provided by the WorldView-2 satellite at high spatial resolution. The drone raw imagery presented some anomalies, such as horizontal banding noise and non-homogeneous radiometry. Camera locations showed a lack of synchrony of the single frequency GPS receiver. The georeferencing process based on ground control points achieved an error lower than 30 cm in X-Y and lower than 55 cm in Z. The drone orthomosaic provided more information in terms of spatial variability in heterogeneous burned areas in comparison with the WorldView-2 satellite imagery. The drone orthomosaic could constitute a viable alternative for the evaluation of post-fire vegetation regeneration in large and heterogeneous burned areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: drone; megafire; multispectral imagery; Parrot SEQUOIA; UAV; WorldView-2 drone; megafire; multispectral imagery; Parrot SEQUOIA; UAV; WorldView-2
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Fernández-Guisuraga, J.M.; Sanz-Ablanedo, E.; Suárez-Seoane, S.; Calvo, L. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Postfire Vegetation Survey Campaigns through Large and Heterogeneous Areas: Opportunities and Challenges. Sensors 2018, 18, 586.

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