Towards Automatic UAS-Based Snow-Field Monitoring for Microclimate Research
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This article presents unmanned aerial system (UAS)-based photogrammetry as an efficient method for the estimation of snow-field parameters, including snow depth, volume, and~snow-covered area. Unlike~similar studies employing UASs, this method benefits from the rapid development of compact, high-accuracy global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers. Our custom-built, multi-sensor system for UAS photogrammetry facilitates attaining centimeter- to decimeter-level object accuracy without deploying ground control points; this technique is generally known as direct georeferencing. The method was demonstrated at Mapa Republiky, a snow field located in the Krkonose, a mountain range in the Czech Republic. The location has attracted the interest of scientists due to its specific characteristics; multiple approaches to snow-field parameter estimation have thus been employed in that area to date. According to the results achieved within this study, the proposed method can be considered the optimum solution since it not only attains superior density and spatial object accuracy (approximately one decimeter) but also significantly reduces the data collection time and, above all, eliminates field work to markedly reduce the health risks associated with avalanches.
Keywordssnow mapping, UAS, photogrammetry, remote sensing, direct georeferencing, snow field, snow-covered area, snow depth
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceSENSORS. 2019, vol. 19, issue 8, p. 1-23.