SPRUCE Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Remote Sensing Program


Misha Krassovski1* (krassovskimb@ornl.gov), Paul J. Hanson1, Jeff Warren1, Keenan Ganz2, Kyle Pearson1


1Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN; 2Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY



Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology bridges the gap among spaceborne, airborne, and ground-based remote sensing data. Its characteristics of light weight and low price enable affordable observations with extremely high spatial and temporal resolutions. Moreover, recently, the stability, flight duration, and load capacity of UAVs increased significantly with the development of flight control and battery technology, which enable more sensor varieties (e.g., optical sensor, lidar sensor, and radar sensor) to be mounted on small UAVs. These multisource, UAV-sensing data with high spatial and temporal resolutions drive new developments for environmental science. Remote sensing applications include forest mapping and management, terrain survey, biodiversity conservation, hydrological modeling, and phenology observations.

SPRUCE has been using this technology since 2019 and generated ~30 datasets that include high-resolution RGB images, infrared, normalized difference vegetation index, and multispectrum images. This poster provides an overview of the SPRUCE UAV program, collected datasets, related scientific activities, and future plans.