MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ARID RANGELANDS
Location: Range Management Research
Title: Development of a UAV rangeland remote sensing capability
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 8, 2006
Publication Date: May 1, 2007
Citation: Rango, A., Laliberte, A., Herrick, J.E. 2007. Development of a UAV rangeland remote sensing capability [abstract]. In: Proceedings Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. Third National Conference on Grazing Lands, December 10-13, 2006, St. Louis, Missouri. p. 319.
Starting in 2000, experiments have been conducted at the Jornada Experimental Range near Las Cruces, NM to evaluate the utility of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for applications on arid rangelands. When compared to all types of remote sensing research ongoing at Jornada and other locations, UAVs have the following advantages: flexible timing of missions, high resolution images, repeat coverage for monitoring, lower cost and safer operation than piloted aircraft, and the system can be operated by one individual, if necessary. The UAVs fill a niche in remote sensing of rangeland between ground-based photography and piloted aircraft. The high resolution possible (less than 5 cm) allows observations of individual plants, patches, gaps, and patterns over the landscape not previously possible. This capability has immediate application for assessment of rangeland health and ecosystem change. The low operating cost and simple data products make the system logical for transfer to operational agencies for collection of data in specific locations in vast public land areas in a timely manner.