July 8, 2016


Leaders from UAS, geospatial, government, academia, and the media are presenting, exhibiting, and generously sponsoring at the ASPRS UAS Symposium. Presentations within the technical program are focused on educational aspects of UAS technology and implementation. The program expands the focus on applications of UAS technology as well as innovations in UAS hardware and software.

 Keynote: “The Illusion of Simplicity” :  The Case for Making Drones Easy to Use

Mr. Lawrie Jordan – ESRI

Bio: Lawrie Jordan is Director of Imagery and Remote Sensing for Esri, as well as Special Assistant to Esri founder and President, Jack Dangermond. In this capacity, Jordan serves as an advocate for the success of users through the application of all forms of remote sensing and imagery within the GIS enterprise, including environmental, civil, defense and intelligence community solutions. Mr. Jordan has over 35 years of experience as a leader in the field of image processing and remote sensing, including a long standing strategic partnership with Esri. He has been an advisor to numerous government organizations on current and future trends involving imagery of all types and platforms.  His background education is in Landscape Architecture, with degrees from The University of Georgia and Harvard University. Lawrie is the 2015 recipient of the Geospatial World Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of contribution in the field of Image Processing and Earth Observation.


Abstract  :  This presentation will address the notion that the future of Geospatial Information Technology belongs to the simple and the quick. The assertion is that we are witnessing a new normal emerging within the Geospatial community whereby many incoming members of this industry increasingly are professionals with backgrounds across several disciplines but they are not experts in Remote Sensing, nor do they want to be. Instead, they desire to gain the geospatial advantage and solve application-specific problems and make better decisions based upon imagery-derived information products, specifically from UAV / UAS systems, without needing to become domain experts on the detailed science of rigorous photogrammetric methods. Recent examples illustrating several use cases will be presented, along with observations on near-term trends related to drone use within GIS systems.

Keynote: Leveraging Live, Virtual, and Constructive Technologies to Advance UAS Training

Andrew_Shepherd_Bio_Pic_CloseupDr. Andrew Shepherd, UAS Program Director (National UAS Training and Certification Center in Dayton, OH)

Bio: Dr. Andrew Shepherd serves as the Director for Unmanned Aerial Systems at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio. With experience in the defense industry and academia focused on modeling and simulation, research, course development, accreditation, instruction, and mentorship, Shepherd offers extensive knowledge in many areas of technology, higher education, and workforce training and development. He serves as the Managing Editor for the Journal of Unmanned Aerial Systems, an Editorial Advisory Board Member for the Two Cultures Journal, and as a Board Member for the Aviation Trail, a non-profit corporation in partnership with the National Park Service to promote Aviation Heritage in the Dayton region. Named to both Dayton’s top 40 Under 40 and top 100 Defense and Aerospace Professionals by the Dayton Business Journal in 2014, Shepherd is an active member of his community and broader aerospace industry.


Abstract: In August, 2016, Sinclair’s National UAS Training and Certification Center collaborated with industry partner Simlat to design and execute a Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) exercise that combined live Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) flight operations and ground-based participants, data analytics, and advanced simulation. The exercise linked the college’s new mobile ground control vehicle (M-GCS) built by Unmanned Solutions Technology, live flight of a Sinclair UAS, and ground-based participants at the National Center for Medical Readiness (NCMR) in real-time with participants on Sinclair’s Dayton campus and Simlat’s headquarters in Israel. This capability demonstration highlighted Sinclair’s advanced UAS applied research and training capabilities and showcased the global reach possible through strategic partnerships.



Precision Mapping by UAS an ASPRS Interdivisional Committee.


Becky Morton, President Elect of ASPRS






ABSTRACT: This presentation will introduce a new interdivisional committee within ASPRS that will be focused on the development of guidelines for professional grade high precision mapping by UAS technologies.  The committee will be developing guidelines in accuracy, quality assessment, reporting, data management, calibration, and more.  In addition, a focus of the committee will be to publish technically informative publications, workshops, and tutorials.  The committee is recruiting members from within ASPRS and across the world.

The Journey of Developing a UAS for Mapping from Scratch to Market


patteagardenPatrick Teagarden, President Alaska Aviation Proving Ground, Inc.

BIO: Patrick Teagarden is the President of Alaska Aviation Proving Ground, Inc., where he and his team are developing unmanned aerial imaging systems in support of tactical decision making. He has been a professional aviator for more than 20 years, and currently holds FAA Airline Transport and Instructor pilot certificates. Additionally, he has been a US Army UAS instructor and test pilot on the US Army version of the Predator (Gray Eagle). During Mr. Teagarden’s professional career he has served as an Electronic Warfare Intelligence Analyst, the Standardization Fixed Wing Pilot (contractor) for the US Army at the Ronald Reagan Missile Test Range, a corporate pilot for Intel Corporation, and an Alaskan Bush Pilot. Mr. Teagarden graduated from Penn State University in 2013 with a Masters degree in Homeland Security and Geospatial Intelligence. Additionally, he holds a Bachelor’s of Applied Sciences in Aviation Operations from Wayland Baptist University. It is Patrick’s basic premise that the unmanned aerial vehicle is simply a host; and the true power is in the fusion of multiple sensors for near real-time decision making. As such, all AlaskaUAV products are designed to support a broad variety of larger sensors with advanced data storage and communications systems.


Abstract: This presentation is about the search for a UAS solution that would provide the aerial imagery that would meet the expectations of the industry. In involves a 2 year ALL IN commitment to the develop of a UAS system that ends with the product being purchased by NASA as their flight test vehicle. And there will be information of where the journey is headed to bring this to the industry.


Five Sensors, One Day: Unmanned vs. Manned Logistics and Accuracy

David Day – Keystone Aerial Surveys





Abstract: Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc. took on the ambitious task of attempting to acquire aircraft mounted LiDAR, aircraft mounted large format imagery and imagery from all three of its UAS sensors over the same targeted area of interested on the same day.  This presentation will detail the effort, highlighting lessons learned, successes and failures.   Logistics of the project, products created and accuracies achieved (both absolute and in comparison) will be noted and explored.  Conclusions on the use of UAS by both skilled and unskilled users and the place for UAS data in the current and future marketplace will be discussed.

Progress on Modular Unmanned Aircraft Technology

DahlgrenRobert P. Dahlgren, CSUMB/NASA Ames Research Center, MS245-4, Biospheric Science Branch, Moffett Field, CA 94035

Juan J. Alonso Stanford University, Dept. of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Durand Building, Room 252, Stanford, CA 94305

Matthew M. Fladeland NASA Ames Research Center, MS232-22, Earth Science Division, Moffett Field, CA 94035





Abstract:  Modular unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are a new development in UAS architecture that holds promise for reusable, reconfigurable hosts for science and autonomy payloads. Modularity of airframe subcomponents lowers costs, facilitates rapid field repair, permits holistic optimization, and enables mass-customization of bespoke platforms – customizing the aircraft around a given payload or payloads. Without modular UAS, sensors and instruments often must be designed to fit in a non-modifiable airframe.  This talk will present how the nexus of modularity, rapid prototyping and design reuse opens up new tradeoffs, and discuss the envisioned benefits, price paid, and enhanced missions made possible by this new approach to aircraft development.

UAS: Confluence of Things Spatial

Jeffrey M. Young, Global Business Development, LizardTech







 Abstract: Varied UAS User Communities will be discussed . Many UAS users and prospects are bound by their geographies of responsibilities, geographies of interest, or geographies of observation. A suggested model for UAS user communities would will be described including municipalities, Metropolitan Area /County – MSAs, State/ Province, Region/ Multi-State based on political or physiographic boundaries, National, Multi National/Enterprise , and Global. UAS addressable markets will be defined including: City Governments, Local Utilities (energy and infrastructure),County Governments, Metro Authorities, NGOs of all scopes, Local Consulting Engineers and Surveyors, State Government Agencies (GIO’s, Transportation, Natural Resources, Public Safety etc.), Private Companies (such as Insurance and real estate), Energy Provides (Transmission and Distribution) , Infrastructures Agencies (e.g. DOTs and Rail), Agriculture, Extractive industries (such a mining ), Regional Consulting Engineers and Surveyors, National Agencies (e.g. US Army COE, Public Safety, Homeland Security, Boarder Patrols, National Security type agencies), Entertainment and Others no doubt. This presentation focused on who comprises UAS user communities as opposed the technology applied. Role and Affiliation: Jeffrey M. Young, Global Business Development LizardTech p: 303-815-2254 f: 206-652-0880 jyoung@lizardtech.com, www.lizardtech.com

Tracking Marsh Vegetation Communities Using UAV Derived NIR Imagery.

  Becky Morton, President, CEO – GeoWing Mapping







Abstract: This presentation covers vegetation monitoring of a marsh site at a weapons station along the Delta. Soil remediation began in the 1990's with vegetation community monitoring by means of remote sensing in 2005. In 2015, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drone was using with a multispectral camera to capture near infrared (NIR) imagery. Image classification methods were then used to determine vegetation communities and analyzed with 
previously captured satellite data.

Rolling Shutter Effect in UAS, and Impact on Accuracy

head shot antoine
Antoine Martin, Business Manager, North America – Pix4D






Abstract: The increasing popularity of consumer UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for professional mapping has either driven the competitive pricing and robustness of the models or been the result of it. Regardless the answer, consumer UAVs are being used more and more in the realms of stockpile analysis, construction site monitoring, and many other uses. They are usually equipped with rolling shutter cameras. Those cameras create great videos but the rolling shutter effect on still images is prevalent. This serves as a significant obstacle to extracting high accuracy measurements in photogrammetric software. In this discussion, we will evaluate how typical UAV rolling shutter cameras impact mapping accuracy and what can be done to improve the results.

How to decide whether your survey/mapping business should start using UAVs


Logan CampbellLogan Campbell (CEO, Aerotas)







Abstract: In order to determine whether investing in UAV technology is right for you, it is crucial to understand both the real-world sources and real-world constraints on UAV-generated value. Aerotas is focused on the real world of UAV operations. We help firms across industries set up and run their own UAV programs, by equipping them with the right technology, training, and operational needs to immediately start using UAVs profitably in their operations. In this talk, we will walk through the real world factors that determine whether a firm can realize value with a UAV program.

UAS Operating Beyond Line of Sight


GabeLadd  Gabe Ladd, Director of Geospatial Systems at American Aerospace Technologies








Abstract:  An overview of U.S. Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations, with an introduction to AATI and its unique history in BVLOS operations followed by an update on  ASPRS' efforts to inform US BVLOS operations.



ASPRS Certification Process Review


Alan Alan Mikuni, (GeoWing Mapping)

Bio: Alan Mikuni is VP of GeoWing Mapping, Inc., which he helped to co-found in 2015.  He became licensed as a professional engineer (civil) in California in 1975 and is an ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrist. He received his degree in civil engineering from Fresno State.  Before joining GeoWing, he worked for Towill, Inc.  He retired from the US Geological Survey in 2010, concluding a 44-year career with the agency, which included executive leadership of National geospatial program activities in the Western Region. He is a Fellow member and has served as National president of ASPRS and CaGIS.  He is also a Fellow and Life Member of ASCE, and is currently National Director for the newly chartered Pacific Southwest Region of ASPRS. He served as Co-Chair of the ASPRS UAS MAPPING RENO Symposium in 2014 and 2015, and served as co-director of the National ASPRS conferences in Reno in 2006 and Sacramento in 2012.


Abstract: Since 1975, ASPRS has been administering a program to certify professionals in photogrammetry, and in 1991 began the certification of mapping scientists in GIS and remote sensing. The ASPRS certification program is the only geospatial certification recognized by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards. This presentation will provide an overview of the history and processes within ASPRS’ certification program, recent modifications to the program, including new certifications for LiDAR professionals and technologists.  Also to be discussed is an under development component to certify unmanned autonomous systems (UAS) professionals and technologists.


ASPRS Certification for UAS Mapping Professionals

  hauck Michael Hauck , ASPRS

Dr. Michael Hauck is Executive Director of the Imaging and Geospatial Information Society (ASPRS). Reflecting the diverse membership of ASPRS, he has practiced in academic, government, Fortune 500, and start-up settings; and in industries that include transportation, energy, telecommunications, and defense. Volunteer work includes service on local, State, and National boards, e.g. the Venture West Network of entrepreneurs, the State of Wyoming Telecommunications Council, and the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. Earned his PhD in Geophysics from Cornell University, MS in Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics from the University of South Carolina, and BS in Liberal Studies from Emory University.


 How to start mapping with drones 


Logan CampbellLogan Campbell (CEO, Aerotas)







Abstract: What are all the pieces you need to have in place in order to reliably, safely, profitably, and legally use UAVs to create value for a mapper or surveyor?



Full stack solutions for the enterprise.  Tasking, Planning, Hardware, Cloud and more


Shaun MitchellSimon-Morris_2Shaun Mitchell: CEO at Altus UAS Ltd

Simon Morris: Chief Operating Officer at Altus UAS Ltd





Abstract: Based on many years of commercial UAV application in the mapping and geospatial arena, Altus UAS has continually developed its solutions with the end product in mind.  Having started as a service provider, we then began to manufacture platforms and have now evolved into a total solution provider. This total solution is a combination of procedures, training, hardware, software and most importantly actionable data that integrates with the client or end user.


Drones & imagery in the ArcGIS Platform


BenkelmanCody Benkelman: Esri Technical Product Manager – Imagery





Abstract:  This session will provide an overview of the many ways that ArcGIS is being used to support drone operations and drone data management, including flight metadata and ingesting & processing video using the full motion video (FMV) add-in.  This presentation will also provide a brief introduction to Drone2Map, but we encourage those interested in photogrammetric processing for single image frames to attend Esri’s workshop Monday September 12th, 1:30 pm to 3:15 pm

Innovative approach to UAV mapping – Easy, Versatile, Accurate


Thomas TadrowskiThomas Tadrowski, Executive Director, DroneMetrex







Abstract: With the advent of drones making a significant impact into many areas of daily life, many claims have been incorrectly made regarding the information which can be achieved using a drone for mapping or photogrammetry. The major reason for this is that the applications, in this case photogrammetry and  surveying, are just another way of selling a drone – an industry driven by drone pilots and hobbyists. Two specialist companies in Australia, Scientific Aerospace, a specialist drone manufacturer with over 10 years’ experience in Drone construction and Dronemetrex, which has over 30 years experience in photogrammetry and mapping in 10 countries – have built the first VTOL drone mapping system developed specifically to provide the most accurate and detailed information available. The uniquely advantageous design enables versatile data capture which adds mapping and photogrammetric science into the inspection field such as dam walls, towers and even under bridges. A true UAV mapping system needs to be just that – a complete system with a full workflow – designed for accurate mapping from the start. By designing a system that is easy to operate for mapping; is versatile in the mapping data capture and processing; and is accurate because it addresses the fundamental principals of photogrammetry – we present an innovative approach to UAV mapping.

Correlator3D software demo: Efficient Processing of UAV Projects


ShafiPresenter: Abdaal Mazhar Shafi – simactive, Technical Sales Advisor







Abstract:  The use of UAVs for mapping is disrupting the industry, changing expectations for post-processing. While large format traditional photogrammetry projects have delivery timelines typically spanning months following data acquisition, UAV results are often expected within days. This presentation will discuss how imagery captured by drones can be efficiently processed and converted into precise geospatial products such as point clouds, DSMs, DTMs and orthomosaics.






 UAV Solutions Using Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Applications


Joe Mostowy

 Joe Mostowy, Hexagon Geospatial








Abstract: Is it possible that anyone that can operate a drone can start a mapping company? I suppose so, but the accuracy of products delivered is a function of how the image data is processed. Many options exist to produce mosaics and point clouds, but the real question is what is the application or intended solution? If you are doing stockpile volumetrics or curbside construction site and engineering grade measurements, then post processing (typically involving stereo GCP collection) is essential. Join me for a short overview of these advanced processing options and take your solution to the professional level.

Title: Realizing the Value of 3D Drone Imagery with ArcGIS



2012 Esri International User Conference - San Diego, CASteve Snow , Esri Mapping Statistics Imagery Strategist

Sean Morrish, 3D Product Engineer







Abstract: With the explosion of Drone usage Imagery collected has dramatically increased.  The ability to produce and analyze 2D and 3D information has outstripped the resource of companies to realize the full business potential of their Drone imagery holdings by streaming GIS ready pointclouds, meshes, and models with ArcGIS.  In this presentation companies will be able to effectively utilize Esri’s ArcGIS Online to scale their 2D and 3D operations and drive down production and storage costs.

Bridge and Communication Tower Inspections with Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)


Matthew N. Gillins Master’s Student, Geomatics Engineering School of Civil & Construction Engineering Oregon State University

Email: gillinsm@onid.oregonstate.edu
Matthew Gillins is a Graduate Research Assistant at Oregon State University, currently finishing a Master of Science degree in Civil and Construction Engineering with an emphasis in geomatics engineering. Matthew has four years of practical experience performing large scale cadastral surveys for the Bureau of Land Management and has more recently been involved with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in civil engineering and surveying applications. His current research is how to incorporate UAS technology into structural inspections safely and effectively.


Daniel T. Gillins
, Ph.D., P.L.S. Assistant Professor, Geomatics Engineering School of Civil & Construction Engineering Oregon State University

Email: dan.gillins@oregonstate.edu  
Daniel Gillins is an assistant professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. He is also a licensed land surveyor in Utah and Oregon. Daniel is a director of the American Association for Geodetic Surveying and is the chair of the surveying committee within the Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. His research interests include the use of UAS for civil and surveying engineering applications, height modernization surveys using GPS, and natural hazard mapping.


Abstract: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requires that all federally-supported bridges are inspected at least once every two years. These mandatory inspections can be expensive and are often dangerous depending on the size of the bridge. Some bridges require lane closures, and the inspector may need to be a certified climber using ropes, temporary scaffolding, and/or snooper cranes. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) technology provides a tool for performing remote, visual inspections and inventorying of structures. UAS are capable of flying a pre-programmed flight path, and can carry high resolution digital cameras and/or other sensors. During flights, operators can view live video from the camera on a monitor, and the digital imagery collected can be later converted into 3D point clouds for detailed spatial inventorying. This presentation shows the methodology and results of the inspection of three steel bridges in Oregon with a multicopter. The presentation will discuss the capabilities and limitations of using UAS for inspecting bridges. A similar discussion is also given on the use of UAS for inspecting two tall, wireless communication towers managed by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Unmanned Ontology: UAS Mapping and the End of the Landsat Era of Remote Sensing


Charles P. JacksCharlesJackson_headshoton
Department of Geography
New Mexico State University





Abstract:  Despite the now relentless and ever-increasing global accumulation of pixels, remote sensing has so far been anti-pixel. However, objects of all kinds have in fact long been scorned or even denied outright existence by the sciences. When the production of Earth observation pixels reached unprecedented levels around the New Millennium, some image analysts understandably turned again to image objects. Image segmentation was pivotal in what would eventually come to be known as geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) in the geospatial domain. But regardless of the domain, the problem remains the same for pixel-based and object-based analysts: pixels are unacceptable artifacts that must be replaced by moving away from them in opposite directions, often simultaneously. That is, in the Landsat Era pixels are reduced downwards to something supposedly more fundamental and upwards to something presumably more meaningful. Whether it is ‘continuous yet heterogeneous’ fields, discrete image objects or some equally half-hearted combination of the two, space remains privileged over and above time and humans remain utterly and regrettably at the center of an ontology that predetermines the fate and validity of objects. Therefore, I introduce the idea of ‘unmanned ontology’ and use Graham Harman’s Object-Oriented Philosophy, Markus Gabriel’s new Ontology of Fields of Sense and Tristan Garcia’s new philosophy and order of time to explain how we are positioned to be a set of truly 21st-century systems. In such systems, humans and UAVs already are component parts with contingent autonomy that together encounter objects in ways that were previously not possible in the Landsat Era.


Pipeline Monitoring and Mapping using Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)


Farid Javadnejad Ph.D. Student, Geomatics Engineering School of Civil & Construction Engineering Oregon State University

Email: javadnef@onid.oregonstate.edu

Farid Javadnejad is a third-year Ph.D. student and graduate research assistant in civil engineering with an emphasis in geomatics engineering in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. Farid has experience in geospatial analysis and web-GIS development. His current research is on the application of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) for remote sensing, aerial mapping, site monitoring, and natural hazard assessment.


Daniel T. Gillins, Ph.D., P.L.S.Assistant Professor, Geomatics Engineering School of Civil & Construction Engineering Oregon State University

Email: dan.gillins@oregonstate.edu

Daniel Gillins is an assistant professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. He is also a licensed land surveyor in Utah and Oregon. Daniel is a director of the American Association for Geodetic Surveying and is the chair of the surveying committee within the Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. His research interests include the use of UAS for civil and surveying engineering applications, height modernization surveys using GPS, and natural hazard mapping.



Abstract: High resolution 3D deliverables from UAS remote sensing can greatly help engineering problems that require spatial positioning. In addition, since it is inexpensive to fly, UAS are ideal for inspecting, monitoring, and detecting changes of engineering sites over time. This presentation will present research on a strategy for using digital photographs taken from consumer-grade cameras mounted on UAS for producing 3D digital terrain models and for detecting the movement of above-ground pipelines. The results will be compared with the displacement measurements taken from conventional ground surveys using RTK GPS receivers and total stations. Remarkably, the comparison shows vertical agreement between the UAS and conventional survey to 2 centimeters at 95% confidence. Error sources that may impact the accuracy of UAS-derived 3D models will be discussed.

Comparison of Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Structure from Motion Techniques for Assessment of Unstable Rock Slopes in Alaska


Matt S. O’Banion Ph.D. Student, Geomatics Engineering School of Civil & Construction Engineering Oregon State University
Email: obanionm@oregonstate.edu

Matt S. O’Banion is a Graduate Research Assistant in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. Mr. O’Banion has a background in geoscience and geotechnical engineering and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Geomatics Engineering. Mr. O’Banion’s research interests include 3D point cloud processing, measurement accuracy evaluation, immersive 3D visualization, and the use of advanced geospatial technologies such as lidar, GNSS, and GIS to study natural hazards.


Michael J. Olsen, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Geomatics Engineering School of Civil & Construction Engineering Oregon State University
Email: olsen@oregonstate.edu

Michael J. Olsen is an Associate Professor of Geomatics in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. He is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief for the ASCE Journal of Surveying Engineering. His current areas of research include terrestrial laser scanning, remote sensing, GIS, earthquake engineering, hazard mapping, and 3D visualization.






Claire Rault Ph.D. Student, Geology Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) Paris
Email: clairerault@gmail.com

Claire Rault is a Ph.D. student at Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) in Paris, France studying Geoscience. Miss Rault has served as a Research Intern for GNS Science in New Zealand as well as at the University of Washington. Her current research interests include landslide and rockfall triggering.




Joseph Wartman, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Geotechnical Engineering Civil & Environmental Engineering University of Washington
Email: wartman@uw.edu

Joseph Wartman is the H. R. Berg Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The author of over 60 professional articles, Wartman edits the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering and chairs the Geo-Institute (GI) committee on Embankments, Dams, and Slopes. His current research interests include earthquake engineering, engineering geology, sustainable geotechnics, spatial analysis, and natural hazards.




Keith Cunningham, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Remote Sensing University of Alaska Fairbanks
Email: kwcunningham@alaska.edu

Keith Cunningham is a Research Assistant Professor of Remote Sensing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is also the Associate Director of Research and Development at the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI). Mr. Cunningham’s research interests include UAS based remote sensing, geospatial modeling, and UAS command and control architectures for beyond line of sight operations.


Abstract: Terrestrial lidar scanning (TLS) has been proven as a valuable technique for assessment and monitoring of unstable slopes; however, comprehensive TLS surveys of slopes and cliffs commonly require numerous discreet instrument setups, which can be time consuming. Even with numerous setups, portions of a slope or cliff are often not visible from areas accessible to the scanner, and valuable information of the slope geomorphology cannot be captured. The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to gather overlapping aerial imagery can be used to generate similar 3D point cloud reconstructions by way of Structure from Motion (SfM) and multi-view stereo (MVS) photogrammetric techniques. Acquisition of cliff geometry using a UAS can provide superior accessibility when compared to TLS methods. To evaluate the capabilities of SfM, this study examines three sites with unstable rock slopes, which were surveyed along the Glenn Highway in Alaska using both TLS and SfM techniques. The datasets were acquired simultaneously and linked to a rigorous survey control network. An accuracy evaluation of the SfM derived surface models was performed using two independent reference datasets: the TLS data and numerous reflectorless total station observations across the cliff surface. Additional comparisons between TLS and SfM were performed to examine model completeness, resolution, and distributions of morphological properties including slope, surface roughness, and a rock activity index. Results indicate that SfM reconstruction is a viable option for unstable rock slope characterization when tied to rigorous survey control. However, some concerning artifacts, over-smoothing, and inconsistencies were observed in the SfM derived models, which question its suitability for reliably detecting small changes on unstable rock slopes.


BOOK LAUNCH: Stop by the Exhibit hall and meet teacher, author, and electro-optical engineer Barbara Grant, author of the newly-published Getting Started with UAV Imaging Systems: A Radiometric Guide.

barbara_grantBarbara G. Grant 
Bio: Barbara Grant received the M. S. in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona in 1989, where she did her graduate research work in the Remote Sensing Group. Her research was in the area of remote sensing imager calibration and included sensors such as the Landsat Thematic Mapper, the SPOT HRV instrument, and the NOAA AVHRR. After graduation, she worked at Lockheed-Martin in Sunnyvale, CA, in areas including infrared radiometric calibration, and for NASA-Goddard Spaceflight Center on the radiometric calibration of the MODIS instrument and in the integration and test phase of the GOES-8 and -9 weather satellite imager and sounder, before beginning her consultancy, Lines and Lights Technology, in 1995. She has authored two previous volumes on radiometry for SPIE Press, "The Art of Radiometry" and "Field Guide to Radiometry." She teaches a very practical online course in radiometry as part of the UC Irvine Certificate Program in Optical Engineering and Optical Instrument Design. She also teaches courses to professionals at meetings of SPIE, and to business, academic, and government clients.



Getting Started with UAV Imaging Systems: A Radiometric Guide provides the tools technologists need to begin designing or analyzing the data product of a UAV imager. Covering the basics of target signatures, radiometric propagation, electro-optical systems, UAV platforms, and image quality, it is replete with examples that promote immediate application of the concepts. Reference materials at the end of each chapter, including many links to current systems and platforms, offer further guidance for readers. Engineers and scientists who specify instrument requirements; design, build, or test hardware; or analyze images for commercial, scientific, and military applications will find the book a useful addition to their working library.