It’s been 10 months or so, Kathmandu University has been investigating potential use of UAV ( Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), commonly known as drones in various potential field like post disaster quick assessment, crop monitoring and biomass estimation. During this time, Geospatial Lab under Department of Civil and Geomatics Engineering of Kathmandu University has tested a self-assembled hexa-copter in three major fields – Post Disaster Assessment and Mapping, Crop Health Monitoring and Biomass Estimation. The images from the UAV were captured using RGB Sensor in damage assessment of building after Nepal earthquake 2015 whereas special RG-NIR sensor was used in biomass estimation and crop health monitoring. The RGB sensor used was SONY DSC W120 and RG-NIR sensor was Modified Sony ALPHA 6000.
Biomass Estimation using UAV images
Recently, Geospatial Lab initiated the use of UAV and VISNIR sensor mounted on the UAV for above forest biomass estimation. The field work was carried out at Barandabhar Protected Forest of Chitwan district. The area covered for pilot test was approximately 0.5 sq km. The image processing and geo mosaicking and orthophoto generation are under progress. Besides, capturing VISNIR images, positional values of artificial markers placed for Ground Control Points (GCPs) were also measured using DGPS. Further, tree specific data like tree height, DBH, and tree species, among several others were also collected for 11 sample plots selected randomly within the area.