On the use of unmanned aerial systems for environmental monitoring

Salvatore Manfreda*, Matthew F. McCabe, Pauline E. Miller, Richard Lucas, Victor Pajuelo Madrigal, Giorgos Mallinis, Eyal Ben Dor, David Helman, Lyndon Estes, Giuseppe Ciraolo, Jana Müllerová, Flavia Tauro, M. Isabel de Lima, João L.M.P. de Lima, Antonino Maltese, Felix Frances, Kelly Caylor, Marko Kohv, Matthew Perks, Guiomar Ruiz-PérezZhongbo Su, Giulia Vico, Brigitta Toth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental monitoring plays a central role in diagnosing climate and management impacts on natural and agricultural systems; enhancing the understanding of hydrological processes; optimizing the allocation and distribution of water resources; and assessing, forecasting, and even preventing natural disasters. Nowadays, most monitoring and data collection systems are based upon a combination of ground-based measurements, manned airborne sensors, and satellite observations. These data are utilized in describing both small- and large-scale processes, but have spatiotemporal constraints inherent to each respective collection system. Bridging the unique spatial and temporal divides that limit current monitoring platforms is key to improving our understanding of environmental systems. In this context, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have considerable potential to radically improve environmental monitoring. UAS-mounted sensors offer an extraordinary opportunity to bridge the existing gap between field observations and traditional air- and space-borne remote sensing, by providing high spatial detail over relatively large areas in a cost-effective way and an entirely new capacity for enhanced temporal retrieval. As well as showcasing recent advances in the field, there is also a need to identify and understand the potential limitations of UAS technology. For these platforms to reach their monitoring potential, a wide spectrum of unresolved issues and application-specific challenges require focused community attention. Indeed, to leverage the full potential of UAS-based approaches, sensing technologies, measurement protocols, postprocessing techniques, retrieval algorithms, and evaluation techniques need to be harmonized. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the existing research and applications of UAS in natural and agricultural ecosystem monitoring in order to identify future directions, applications, developments, and challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number641
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalRemote sensing
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Fingerprint

environmental monitoring
monitoring
airborne sensor
ground-based measurement
natural disaster
agricultural ecosystem
farming system
water resource
sensor
remote sensing
air
climate
cost

Keywords

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Precision agriculture
  • Remote sensing
  • River monitoring
  • Soil moisture
  • UAS
  • Vegetation indices
  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE
  • ITC-GOLD

Cite this

Manfreda, S., McCabe, M. F., Miller, P. E., Lucas, R., Madrigal, V. P., Mallinis, G., ... Toth, B. (2018). On the use of unmanned aerial systems for environmental monitoring. Remote sensing, 10(4), 1-28. [641]. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040641
Manfreda, Salvatore ; McCabe, Matthew F. ; Miller, Pauline E. ; Lucas, Richard ; Madrigal, Victor Pajuelo ; Mallinis, Giorgos ; Dor, Eyal Ben ; Helman, David ; Estes, Lyndon ; Ciraolo, Giuseppe ; Müllerová, Jana ; Tauro, Flavia ; de Lima, M. Isabel ; de Lima, João L.M.P. ; Maltese, Antonino ; Frances, Felix ; Caylor, Kelly ; Kohv, Marko ; Perks, Matthew ; Ruiz-Pérez, Guiomar ; Su, Zhongbo ; Vico, Giulia ; Toth, Brigitta. / On the use of unmanned aerial systems for environmental monitoring. In: Remote sensing. 2018 ; Vol. 10, No. 4. pp. 1-28.
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Manfreda, S, McCabe, MF, Miller, PE, Lucas, R, Madrigal, VP, Mallinis, G, Dor, EB, Helman, D, Estes, L, Ciraolo, G, Müllerová, J, Tauro, F, de Lima, MI, de Lima, JLMP, Maltese, A, Frances, F, Caylor, K, Kohv, M, Perks, M, Ruiz-Pérez, G, Su, Z, Vico, G & Toth, B 2018, 'On the use of unmanned aerial systems for environmental monitoring', Remote sensing, vol. 10, no. 4, 641, pp. 1-28. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040641

On the use of unmanned aerial systems for environmental monitoring. / Manfreda, Salvatore; McCabe, Matthew F.; Miller, Pauline E.; Lucas, Richard; Madrigal, Victor Pajuelo; Mallinis, Giorgos; Dor, Eyal Ben; Helman, David; Estes, Lyndon; Ciraolo, Giuseppe; Müllerová, Jana; Tauro, Flavia; de Lima, M. Isabel; de Lima, João L.M.P.; Maltese, Antonino; Frances, Felix; Caylor, Kelly; Kohv, Marko; Perks, Matthew; Ruiz-Pérez, Guiomar; Su, Zhongbo; Vico, Giulia; Toth, Brigitta.

In: Remote sensing, Vol. 10, No. 4, 641, 01.04.2018, p. 1-28.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Manfreda, Salvatore

AU - McCabe, Matthew F.

AU - Miller, Pauline E.

AU - Lucas, Richard

AU - Madrigal, Victor Pajuelo

AU - Mallinis, Giorgos

AU - Dor, Eyal Ben

AU - Helman, David

AU - Estes, Lyndon

AU - Ciraolo, Giuseppe

AU - Müllerová, Jana

AU - Tauro, Flavia

AU - de Lima, M. Isabel

AU - de Lima, João L.M.P.

AU - Maltese, Antonino

AU - Frances, Felix

AU - Caylor, Kelly

AU - Kohv, Marko

AU - Perks, Matthew

AU - Ruiz-Pérez, Guiomar

AU - Su, Zhongbo

AU - Vico, Giulia

AU - Toth, Brigitta

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N2 - Environmental monitoring plays a central role in diagnosing climate and management impacts on natural and agricultural systems; enhancing the understanding of hydrological processes; optimizing the allocation and distribution of water resources; and assessing, forecasting, and even preventing natural disasters. Nowadays, most monitoring and data collection systems are based upon a combination of ground-based measurements, manned airborne sensors, and satellite observations. These data are utilized in describing both small- and large-scale processes, but have spatiotemporal constraints inherent to each respective collection system. Bridging the unique spatial and temporal divides that limit current monitoring platforms is key to improving our understanding of environmental systems. In this context, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have considerable potential to radically improve environmental monitoring. UAS-mounted sensors offer an extraordinary opportunity to bridge the existing gap between field observations and traditional air- and space-borne remote sensing, by providing high spatial detail over relatively large areas in a cost-effective way and an entirely new capacity for enhanced temporal retrieval. As well as showcasing recent advances in the field, there is also a need to identify and understand the potential limitations of UAS technology. For these platforms to reach their monitoring potential, a wide spectrum of unresolved issues and application-specific challenges require focused community attention. Indeed, to leverage the full potential of UAS-based approaches, sensing technologies, measurement protocols, postprocessing techniques, retrieval algorithms, and evaluation techniques need to be harmonized. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the existing research and applications of UAS in natural and agricultural ecosystem monitoring in order to identify future directions, applications, developments, and challenges.

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KW - Environmental monitoring

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KW - ITC-GOLD

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Manfreda S, McCabe MF, Miller PE, Lucas R, Madrigal VP, Mallinis G et al. On the use of unmanned aerial systems for environmental monitoring. Remote sensing. 2018 Apr 1;10(4):1-28. 641. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040641