Next Article in Journal
Modeling, Trim Analysis, and Trajectory Control of a Micro-Quadrotor with Wings
Previous Article in Journal
Development and Testing of a Low-Cost Instrumentation Platform for Fixed-Wing UAV Performance Analysis
Open AccessArticle

Accuracy and Optimal Altitude for Physical Habitat Assessment (PHA) of Stream Environments Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

1
Natural Resource Analysis Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
2
Department of Forest Science, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná 80210-170, Brazil
3
Institute of Water Security and Science, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
4
West Virginia University, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Drones 2018, 2(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones2020020
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
Physical Habitat Assessments (PHA) are useful to characterize and monitor stream and river habitat conditions, but can be costly and time-consuming. Alternative methods for data collection are getting attention, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). The objective of this work was to evaluate the accuracy of UAV-based remote sensing techniques relative to ground-based PHA measurements, and to determine the influence of flight altitude on those accuracies. A UAV quadcopter equipped with an RGB camera was flown at the altitudes of 30.5 m, 61.0 m, 91.5 m and 122.0 m, and the metrics wetted width (Ww), bankfull width (Wbf) and distance to water (Dw) were compared to field PHA. The UAV-PHA method generated similar values to observed PHA values, but underestimated distance to water, and overestimated wetted width. Bankfull width provided the largest RMSE (25–28%). No systematic error patterns were observed considering the different flight altitudes, and results indicated that all flight altitudes investigated can be reliably used for PHA measurements. However, UAV flight at 61 m provided the most accurate results (CI = 0.05) considering all metrics. All UAV parameters over all altitudes showed significant correlation with observed PHA data, validating the use of UAV-based remote sensing for PHA. View Full-Text
Keywords: Physical Habitat Assessment; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; Structure from Motion; image processing; flight planning; stream restoration; stream monitoring Physical Habitat Assessment; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; Structure from Motion; image processing; flight planning; stream restoration; stream monitoring
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Klein Hentz, Â.M.; Kinder, P.J.; Hubbart, J.A.; Kellner, E. Accuracy and Optimal Altitude for Physical Habitat Assessment (PHA) of Stream Environments Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Drones 2018, 2, 20.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop