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Micro-copter UAVs mapping landslide

A professor from the University of Tasmania and as many as 20 of his students are using two 'OctoKopters' UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles to create a detailed 3D map of a landslide in Ranelagh, Tasmania, Australia. The UAVs are deployed by Dr. Arko Lucieer and the TerraLuma project team as a cheap alternative to high-resolution satellite imagery. Flying at altitudes ranging from just 50 m to 120 m, they can photograph micro-topography in remarkable detail. The OctoKopter UAV platform runs about $3,000AU (about $3,200US) but with the payload of a digital SLR camera, six-band multispectral sensor and thermal sensor, the cost is more like $60,000AU each (about $65,000US). On a previous project in Antarctica, the team was able to produce 3D point clouds with a 1cm point spacing. Dr. Lucieer is also investigating using the two OctoKopters and a larger third on order by the UTAS School of Geography and Environmental Studies as a cheaper alternative platform for aerial LIDAR surveys. [Source: University of Tasmania, Australia. Image:] | Impressum