Best practice tutorial on handling low-budget UAV finished

Best practice tutorial on handling low-budget UAV finished

Following the purchase and operaration of our two low-budget UAVs suring 2016 and 2017, a best practice tutorial of how to use the devices was written by Marius Röder, Steven Hill and Hooman Latifi, and it is now available in two English and German versions. This tutorial assumes no prior knowledge of the reader on handling low-budget Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in ecological and environmental contexts. It initially includes general infos on preperation and constellation of a typical UAV system, followed by instructions on planning and implementation of UAV flights using the available commercial software, importing the acquired imagery, relative orientation, optimization of camera parameters, generation of dense point clouds and finally digital surface modeling of the point clouds. The tutorial eventually includes lessons learned, tipps and tricks on further processing and potential applications of the UAV topographic products.
The tutorial can be retrieved here on Research Gate.

New publication: Towards an all-in-one sensor for forestry applications?

New publication: Towards an all-in-one sensor for forestry applications?

A recent paper published by Forestry and featuring Dr. Hooman Latifi from Dept. of Remote Sensing presents novel results of estimating most relevant forest inventory attributes from very high resolution stereoscopic satellite imagery.  The paper couples a systematic review of the state-of-the-art in photogrammetry-basad forest attribute estimation, a case study in southwestern Germany and an expert survey on the potenaitls and pitfalls of remote sensing-assisted forest inventory, in which internationally renowned peers from all over the world took part.

 

Area-based predictions of tree species, aboveground biomass and tree density based on WorldView-2 stereo data

 

The modeling/classification results were comparable to earlier studies in the same test site, obtained with more expensive airborne acquisitions. All in all, the study concludes that the simpler acquisition, reasonable price and the comparably easy data format and handling of VHRSI compared with other sensor types justifies further research on the application of these data for supporting operational forest inventories. The fulltext version of the paper together with the supplementary material can be found here.

Fassnacht, F.E., Mangold, D., Schäfer, J., Immitzer, M., Kattenborn, T., Koch, B and Latifi, H. 2017. Estimating stand density, biomass and tree species from very high resolution stereo-imagery – towards an all-in-one sensor for forestry applications? Forestry, DOI: 10.1093/forestry/cpx014

 

M.Sc. handed in on UAV-based monitoring of post-disturbed forest sites.

M.Sc. handed in on UAV-based monitoring of post-disturbed forest sites.

The M.Sc thesis by Marius Röder (Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart) was handed in. The thesis was supervised by Dr. Hooman Latifi and Prof. Eberhard Gülch and focuses on monitoring post-disturbed and heterogenuous forest sites by cost-effective methods from Unmaned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) domain. The advantage of normalized digital surface models extracted from UAV dta was initially compared to the products derived from standard aerial photography. Subsequently, the suitability of UAV-based inventory was compared to traditional eld methods . For this purpose, reference and UAV data were compared in terms of quality, quantity and cost eectiveness. In addition, an algorithm for automatic tree detection was compared to the manual detection on the UAV-imagery. The extent to which the results differ for certain forest heterogeneity as well as for single and grouped tree individuals was addressed., followed by a cost and benefit analysis of UAV-based forest inventory compared to traditional field-based methods.

 

UAV-based point cloud (left) and UAV-based nDSM (right) of an examplified sample plot in Bavarian Forest National Park

 

the results showed that the UAV inventory can not fully replace the eld methods in terms of quality and quantity due to the general disadvantages of photogrammetric methods in the small-scale forest sites consisting of dense rejuvenation stocks. However, from a purely economic point of view, the advantages over the eld method predominate. Improvements could be achieved by combining field and UAV-methods or a simulteanous use of digital camera and laser scanner mounted on UAV.

Call for papers for a Special Issue of PFG

Call for papers for a Special Issue of PFG

A special issue Remote Sensing-assisted inventory of forest attributes edited by Dr. Hooman Latifi (University of Würzburg) and Prof. Dr. Barbara Koch (University of Freiburg) was recently announced by the journal Photogrammetrie-Fernerkundung-Geoinformation (PFG). The PFG is the official international journal of the German Society for Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation (Impact Factor: 0.55). This special issue aims at covering the state-of-the-art research in forest inventory by using multi-source remote sensing data and methods. The results of ongoing research work published by this issue can possibly support the practitioners and decision makers towards an advanced and extended use of remote sensing in design and implementation of forest inventories on various scales. To this aim, both fundamental and practice-oriented research works are welcome that accommodate one of the following scopes:

  • Remote sensing for National Forest Inventories (NFI): possibilities and challenges
  • Data assimilation, fusion and integration from multiple remote sensing platforms
  • Statistical issues: Bias/Variance trade-off, model setup, distributional properties and dimension reduction techniques
  • Multitemporal mapping and monitoring of forest disturbances caused by biotic and abiotic agents
  • New spectral, textural and structural indices to support forest inventory
  • Species-specific information for forest inventory: data- , tree type- and process-driven influential factors
  • Integration of forest phenology in remote sensing-assisted forest inventory
  • Remote sensing o forest successional stages
  • Modeling forest structural attributes which metrics to derive? Which data to use? Which performance to achieve?
  • Forest as a bioenergy pool: How well we are at deriving forest biomass by remote sensing?
  • Global models for estimation of Gross Primary Production (GPP) and carbon binding

In addition to original research articles, well-funded review articles are also welcome.

The intended full manuscripts should be sent via email to hooman.latifi@uni-wuerzburg.de.  Manuscripts will undergo a standard review process, and the accepted manuscripts will be  published at once in the issue 3/2017 of the PFG.

The official announcement can be retrieved here.

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Statistics session at the FoWiTa 2016

Statistics session at the FoWiTa 2016

In framework of activities of the working group “Ecology and Environment” of the German Region of the International Biometric Society, this working group joined the forest biometry section of the German Association of Forest Research Institutes (DVFFA) to organize the session “Aktuelle Entwicklungen bei Datenerfassung, Auswertung und Modellierung in der Forstwissenschaft” during the FoWiTa conference 2016 in Freiburg. The session will be chaired by Hoooman Latifi and Wolfgang Falk and will host 10 selected oral presentations and 10 posters on data- and model-assisted advancements in analyzing forest data.

In addition, Steven Hill will also represent LSFE by presenting an oral contribution on “LiDAR-gestützte Erfassung von einzelbaum-und bestandsbasierte Waldentwicklung nach natürlichen Störungsprozessen”. Further information on the conference program can be retrieved here.

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