Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2012UT167B

UAV Monitoring and Assessment Applications in Municipal Water and Environmental Management Problems

Institute: Utah
Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2013-03-28
Total Federal Funds: $70,332 Total Non-Federal Funds: $94,888

Principal Investigators: David Rosenberg, Austin Jensen

Abstract: There are many benefits in using remote sensing and aerial imagery for water and environmental management problems. One of these benefits includes having more accurate, distributed, and complete spatial data than is possible with ground surveys alone. However, many water providers and environmental managers are not able to take advantage of these benefits due to the high cost and limited flexibility of conventional remote sensing technologies. Motivated by these issues, we have developed a remote sensing platform at Utah State University (USU) called AggieAirTM. AggieAir is a small, autonomous unmanned aircraft which carries multispectral onboard cameras to capture aerial imagery during flight. The multispectral cameras available on AggieAir include a visual (red, green blue) camera, a near-infrared (NIR) camera, and a thermal infrared camera. AggieAir enables users to gather aerial imagery at a lower price and a greater spatial and temporal resolution than most manned aircraft and satellite sources. In addition since AggieAir is not dependant on runways, the user can launch the aircraft and gather aerial imagery when and wherever they want. This project will investigate the use of AggieAir for municipal applications specifically in water and environmental management problems. We will collaborate with the city of Logan, UT and use AggieAir to capture aerial imagery over various types of municipal areas including a wetland, a riparian area, the city landfill and the city golf course. The imagery will be processed in various ways to generate data that Logan City can use to help manage these areas.