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Potential of Unmanned Aerial Systems Imagery Relative to Landsat-8 Imagery

Van Horn, J. W., Dyer, J., Dash, P., Hathcock, L. A., & Moorhead, R. J. (2015). Potential of Unmanned Aerial Systems Imagery Relative to Landsat-8 Imagery. AAG Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL: AAG.

Abstract

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) provide imagery with higher spatial resolution than Landsat and allows for a platform that can be flown at will, providing higher temporal resolution as well. The UAS used in this research has the ability to fly missions controlled by a nearby operator at low-level altitudes over a smaller area. A low-level sortie of the UAS creates an advantage during cloudy conditions by flying under the Lifted Condensation Level (LCL), whereas Landsat observes from above any existing cloud forms. Due to this, Landsat imagery is often unusable due to cloud cover; however, Landsat does have a higher spectral resolution than the current UAS used in this research (seven bands instead of four, respectively). The main purpose of this research is to provide initial verification of the near-IR band on the UAS platform by comparing it to a similar band from Landsat. In a scenario of a positive verification, an overall advantage will be in favor of the UAS due to its better spatial resolution and flexible temporal resolution. The setting of the data collection will take place in the Lower Pearl River Watershed, where estimation of inundated area and land cover from remotely sensed data is required for hydrologic and ecologic applications.


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