Just back from 2 weeks in Poland at SWAMP: the 6th EUFAR-OPTIMISE Training Course for spectroscopy in wetlands using aerial, satellite and UAV imagery. OPTIMISE, you might remember is the EU COST Action that I am a part of so this was particularly relevant to me. Here is an orthomosaic of the test-site with some of our sample locations.
I applied for a place on the course and was awarded full funding for the two weeks. From what I hear only 25% of the applicants received places so I was lucky to get one. You might think there would be alot of down-time in a course that long but it was almost non-stop from 9am till 11pm at night, particularly towards the end getting the results finalised.
Lots of great hardware/data collected on the survey -
- At least 4 UAVs, some were really heavy-lifter VTOLs (no fixed wings, they were deemed not steady enough for spectral measurements - quite a few of the things I learned challenged our assumptions and have made me think about the path we are moving down). The Falcon was the man-of-the-match in many cases due the the gimble and its ability to calculate BRDF for the hemisphere above and around a point without obscuring any illumination.
- Two large aerial platforms - a Dornier carrying the 'APEX' sensor and a second aircraft with 'HYPLANT'.
- More field units than you could sneeze at. Here is a nice photo I took of us using an Ocean Optics HR4000 and the Falcon operating in the background.
- A flux tower for eddy-covariance measurements.
- They had even tasked a Sentinel 2a overpass and there is talk of using our field and aerial measurements for calibration.
Lots of hard work but also lots of very interesting people. Some great BBQs, bonfires and beer for less than 1 euro.
I need a holiday!