APPLICATION OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES FOR GLACIER RESEARCH IN THE ARCTIC AND ANTARCTIC

Kristaps Lamsters, Jānis Karušs, Māris Krievāns, Jurijs Ješkins

Abstract


Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are nowadays widely used in a broad field of scientific and commercial applications. Despite this, it is quite a new method for glacier mapping in polar regions and has a lot of advantages, as well as disadvantages over more classical remote sensing instruments. Here we examine the main issues associated with the application of drones for glacier research from our experience in Iceland, Greenland and the Antarctic. We use DJI Phantom series drones for the obtaining of aerial photographs and produce digital surface models (resolution of 8 – 16 cm) and orthomosaics (resolution of 2 – 4 cm) for glacier mapping. Several issues related to the ground control points, geolocation using Global Navigation Satellite System receiers and creation of final products are addressed as well. We recommend the further use of drones in remote polar areas because it allows obtaining very high-resolution orthomosaics and digital surface models that are not achieved by other methods. Short summer season, raw weather with precipitation and winds, limited drone flight duration and problems with connection cables are the main issues everyone can encounter working in polar regions but all issues can be restricted with careful planning and readiness to gather data whenever it is possible during all field campaign.

Keywords


drone; digital surface model; orthomosaic; polar regions

Full Text:

PDF

References


C. Porter, P. Morin, I. Howat, M-J. Noh, B. Bates, K. Peterman, S. Keesey, M. Schlenk, J. Gardiner, K. Tomko, M. Willis, C. Kelleher, M. Cloutier, E. Husby, S. Foga, H. Nakamura, M. Platson, M. Wethington, C. Williamson, G. Bauer, J. Enos, G. Arnold, W. Kramer, P. Becker, A. Doshi, C. D'Souza, P. Cummens, F. Laurier, and M. Bojesen, "ArcticDEM", March 2018. [online] Available: https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN/OHHUKH [Accessed: March 31, 2019], https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/OHHUKH

A. Finlayson, E. Phillips, Í. Ö. Benediktsson, L. K., Zoet, N. R. Iverson, and J. Everest, “Subglacial drumlins and englacial fractures at the surge-type glacier, Múlajökull, Iceland,” Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 367–380, August 2018, https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4485

Takasu, T. RTKLIB: Open Source Program Package for RTK-GPS: FOSS4G 2009, November 2, 2009, Tokyo, Japan. [online] Available: http://gpspp.sakura.ne.jp/paper2005/foss4g_2009_rtklib.pdf [Accessed: December 31, 2018].

“Agisoft Metashape User Manual: Professional Edition, Version 1.5.” 2018. [online]. Available: https://www.agisoft.com/pdf/metashape-pro_1_5_en.pdf [Accessed: March 25, 2019].

P. Pellikka and W. G. Rees, Remote Sensing of Glaciers: Techniques for Topographic, Spatial and Thematic Mapping of Glaciers. London, UK: Taylor & Francis Goup, 2010.

RGI Consortium, “Randolph Glacier Inventory – A Dataset of Global Glacier Outlines: Version 6.0,” Global Land Ice Measurements from Space, Colorado, USA, Tech. Rep., 2017, https://doi.org/10.7265/N5-RGI-60

B. M. P. Chandler, D. J. A. Evans, D. H. Roberts, M. Ewertowski, and A. I. Clayton, “Glacial geomorphology of the Skálafellsjökull foreland, Iceland: A case study of ‘annual’ moraines,” Journal of Maps, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 904–916, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2015.1096216

“GLIMS: Global Land Ice Measurements from Space,” 2005. [Online]. Available: https://www.glims.org/ [Accessed: March 20, 2019], http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5V98602

I. Howat, P. Morin, C. Porter, M. J. Noh, “The Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica,” 2018. [Online] Available: https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN/SAIK8B. [Accessed: Jan. 10, 2019], V1, https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/SAIK8B

W. W. Immerzeel, P. D. A. Kraaijenbrink, J. M. Shea, A. B. Shrestha, F. Pellicciotti, M. F. P. Bierkens, and S. M. De Jong, “High-resolution monitoring of Himalayan glacier dynamics using unmanned aerial vehicles,” Remote Sensing Environment, vol. 150, pp. 93–103, July 2014, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2014.04.025

A. Bhardwaj, L. Sam, F.J. Martín-Torres, and R. Kumar, “UAVs as remote sensing platform in glaciology: Present applications and future prospects,” Remote sensing of environment, vol. 175, pp. 196–204, March 2016, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2015.12.029

J. C. Ely, C. Graham, I. D. Barr, B. R. Rea, M. Spagnolo, and J. Evans, “Using UAV acquired photography and structure from motion techniques for studying glacier landforms: application to the glacial flutes at Isfallsglaciären,” Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, vol. 42, no. 6, pp. 877–888, Sept 2017, https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4044

M. W. Ewertowski, D. J. A. Evans, D. H. Roberts, and A. M. Tomczyk, “Glacial geomorphology of the terrestrial margins of the tidewater glacier, Nordenskiöldbreen, Svalbard,” Journal of Maps, vol. 12, sup1, pp. 476–487, 2016, https://doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2016.1192329

N. G. Midgley, T. N. Tonkin, D. J. Graham, and S. J. Cook, “Evolution of high-Arctic glacial landforms during deglaciation,” Geomorphology, vol. 311, pp. 63–75, June 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2018.03.027

T. N. Tonkin, N. G. Midgley, S. J. Cook, and D. J. Graham, “Ice-cored moraine degradation mapped and quantified using an unmanned aerial vehicle: a case study from a polythermal glacier in Svalbard,” Geomorphology, vol. 258, pp. 1–10, April 2016, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.12.019

M. Rossini, B. Di Mauro, R. Garzonio, G. Baccolo, G. Cavallini, M. Mattavelli, M. De Amicis, and R. Colombo, “Rapid melting dynamics of an alpine glacier with repeated UAV photogrammetry,” Geomorphology, vol. 304, pp. 159–172, March 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.12.039

J. C. Ryan, A. L. Hubbard, J. E. Box, J. Todd, P. Christoffersen, J. R. Carr, T. O. Holt, and N. Snooke, “UAV photogrammetry and structure from motion to assess calving dynamics at Store Glacier, a large outlet draining the Greenland ice sheet,” Cryosphere, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 1–11, Jan. 2015, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1-2015

“GNSS solutions reference manual” 2012. [Online]. Available: https://ashgps.com/2/GNSS%20Solutions/manuals/English/GNSSSolutions_RM_F_en.pdf [Accessed: December 25, 2018].

P. Burdziakowski, UAV in today’s photogrammetry – application areas and challenges. Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing: 18th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2018, August 24 – September 2, 2018, Albena, Bulgaria.

P.J. Hardin, V. Lulla, R.R. Jensen, and J.R. Jensen, “Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) for environmental remote sensing: challenges and opportunities revised,” GIScience & Remote Sensing, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 309-322, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/15481603.2018.1510088

M.R. James, and S. Robson, “Mitigating systematic error in topographic models derived from UAV and ground-based image networks,” Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, vol. 39, no. 10, pp. 1413–1420, May 2014, https://doi.org/doi:10.1002/esp.3609




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17770/etr2019vol1.4130

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.