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Keywords:

  • High positioning accuracy;
  • Non-destructive survey;
  • Portable remote-sensing system;
  • Radio-controlled helicopter;
  • Wetland

Abstract

Question

Is a high-resolution remote-sensing system based on a radio-controlled helicopter (the ‘Falcon-PARS system’) an effective tool to obtain images that can be used to identify herbaceous species?

Location

Watarase wetland, Japan.

Methods

We applied the remote-sensing system to a wetland composed mainly of Phragmites australis and Miscanthus sacchariflorus. The aerial observation was performed in a 100 × 200 m area at a flying height of 30 m. From the obtained images, we tried to identify P. australis and M. sacchariflorus through visual interpretation.

Results

We obtained images with a high spatial resolution (1 cm) and a positioning accuracy of finer than 1 m using this small and lightweight system, and confirmed that we could identify the above two species from the obtained images.

Conclusion

Such a high-resolution system can be used to directly identify herbaceous species, and as a non-destructive alternative to ground surveys. This lightweight system can be carried to sites such as a high-altitude bog that cannot be reached by a motor vehicle. Because of the low flying height (below cloud level), aerial observation is possible even on cloudy days, thereby permitting observations in all seasons.