Drones in science: Rising beyond pretty pictures

Drones are revolutionising environmental science. Four scientists explain how they are using drones, what challenges they face and how the technology is changing our understanding of the world around us. Read more about it here: ABC Science News

Image of coral and algae in the Great Barrier Reef taken using a standard DSLR camera shows patches of live coral (pink) and algae (green). (Karen Joyce)


TerraLuma at Dronefest

TerraLuma attended the local Dronefest at Lauderdale, Tasmania last weekend to show the public what UAS are used for in research.

“Dronefest 2016 celebrates the last five years in which the “drone industry” in Tasmania has expanded rapidly as many industries find drones are effectively work horses in the sky, and potentially underground. (…) A survey conducted in August 2016 by the Rotary Club of Bellerive of employment in the “drone industry” in Tasmania has indicated that in the last five years the industry has grown from a few full time equivalents (FTE) to about 55 FTE today.  Moreover a number of companies have indicated they are expecting to expand their drone-based workforce in the next 12 months.” (Source: Dronefest website).

Check their facebook page for more photos and videos.

TerraLuma members from left to right: Juliane Bendig, Deepak Gautam, Darren Turner, Faheem Iqbal and Steve Harwin (taking the photo)

TerraLuma members from left to right: Juliane Bendig, Deepak Gautam, Darren Turner, Faheem Iqbal and Steve Harwin (taking the photo)



Our PhD students learn how to fly

Three of our PhD students (Deepak Gautam, Faheem Iqbal and Gustavo Togeiro de Alckmin) improved their skills in the operation of UAVs at a workshop hosted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) last week.

TIA hosted the remote pilot workshop by Aerial Hotshots at UTAS’ Forthside Vegetable Research Facility. The workshop aimed to build capacity within the Tasmanian agriculture industry around the operation of drones. More information here and here.

TIA remote pilot workshop

TIA remote pilot workshop


Terraluma on the road – UAV Workshop in Fowler’s Gap (NSW)

From 13 – 15 September 2016, Arko Lucieer, Darren Turner, and Juliane Bendig attended a 3-day UAV workshop at Fowler’s Gap in northeast NSW. The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • assess the role of UAVs in rangeland applications
  • compare UAV platforms and data processing
  • generate a baseline dataset for Fowlers Gaps rangelands
  • establish a framework for regular meetings in the future
  • generate a comprehensive dataset for school and university education (Source: http://fowlersgap.uas4rs.org.au/)

We packed nearly all of our equipment and tested most of it during three days of fieldwork. Among the collected datasets are RGB, multispectral , hyperspectral, thermal and LiDAR data. An extensive overview of the activities at Fowler’s Gap can be found here.