From hand-drawn charts to HD aerial photographs, we’ve helped organizations and government agencies monitor ecosystems, track environmental changes, and more for years. The systems used to capture and process environmental monitoring information continually evolve and provide those who can make positive changes with actionable, accurate insights. By using drone technology, we can survey and map a broad range of environmental factors, including algae detection, plant species recognition, plant health assessments, and much more. Then, organizations can use this data to make more informed decisions to protect humans and nature alike. Using drones for environmental monitoring helps us create digital environments that give better insights into natural habitats. Related: View Our Environmental Projects

Drones Help Create Digital Images With Better Precision.

Putting together infrared imaging, geolocation data like LIDAR, and aerial images lets us form more accurate representations of the environment. That combination is critical for environmental monitoring; more accurate data means organizations can make decisions being more-informed. Known as the Epic Duck Challenge, this study showed that data derived from drones are more accurate anywhere from 43% to 96% than data collected from ground counts. Those results mean that drone technology is crucial for collecting accurate environmental information. Take LIDAR, which collects measurements for maps and models of terrain and objects, technology as an example—it’s crucial for coastal erosion monitoring. You can use drones to collect data from areas with vast coastlines. This allows you to produce high-res maps by the use of photogrammetric images. At HANA Resources, we use drone technology like LIDAR, 3D photogrammetry, and contour mapping to create detailed data sets to help our clients make strategic decisions about habitat and environmental protection.
Aerial drone flying over the water during sunset.
Aerial drone flying over the water during sunset.

Drone Technology Is a Safe and Accessible Way to Gather Environmental Data.

Using drone technology, we can easily gather environmental information without putting the environment or people in harm’s way. Look at fragile ecosystems—we can easily unintentionally cause damage while physically assessing and monitoring the area. For example, we may inadvertently disrupt the behaviors of the wildlife population or introduce the environment to new pathogens, causing negative effects for the ecosystem. Performing environmental monitoring services with drones allows researchers to avoid that issue and not cause harm to the environment they’re focused on. In addition, gathering data from a safe distance using drones is invaluable to collecting and monitoring environmental information. Additionally, without drones, we often have to navigate through dangerous terrain to gather environmental data. Drones offer an alternative to studying areas virtually impossible to reach without causing damage to either the ecosystem or the researchers. And the stakes are even higher for researchers trekking through dangerous terrain while they respond to disasters like floods, wildfires, oil spills, or even tracking poachers. In many cases, using drones to collect environmental information is a much safer way to collect data.

8 Ways to Use Drones for Environmental Monitoring

As a certified diversity environmental consulting firm, we use advanced technology to produce objective and process-driven methodologies for environmental monitoring. From tribal agencies and government entities to private market sectors, we’re proving that using drones for environmental monitoring is the future of natural resource management. Related: Biological Resources for Your Environmental Project Now, let’s look at some of the most significant uses for drones in the environmental monitoring space:

1. 3D Photogrammetry

At HANA Resources, we use 3D photogrammetry technology to process and produce 3D models. With ultra-high-resolution cameras, we can create high-polygon count 3D models in various spectral bands. Our services take depth information that is produced by overlapping images to analyze the height, size, and distance of various objects and structures.

2. Aerial Mapping

We use drones to provide you with orthomosaic mapping and aerial imagery. With a variety of ultra-high-resolution, hyperspectral, and multispectral cameras, we can respond to any project’s goals. Using GIS software, we create flight plans for each mission and can fly efficiently over any site without going outside of your project’s boundaries.

3. Contour Mapping

By using our point cloud and 3D photogrammetry technologies, we can produce high-grade contour data from drone flights alone. We can survey areas that are otherwise impassable on foot, and at the highest resolutions, we can offer sub-foot contour lines. A single flight can save project teams hundreds of hours of mapping and monitoring.

4. Thermal Imaging

Our drones are well-equipped to handle projects requiring thermal monitoring and imaging. Our thermal imaging methodologies have been successfully used in the public sector, private sector, and government applications. We can determine leakage in irrigation systems, identify and quantify wildlife habits, and everything in between.
An aerial view of a forest taken from a drone.
An aerial view of a forest taken from a drone.

5. Dense Point Clouds

We proudly offer dense point cloud datasets that our clients use for terrain modeling, elevation mapping, and GIS processes. From mapping terrain and elevation profiles to landscape features, the commercial, private, and government market sectors have all benefited from drone usage for environmental monitoring. Our UAS platforms can collect and process point clouds extremely accurately with high density per tile. We can produce tiles at various densities to suit your project’s needs.

6. Algae Detection

Our pioneering technologies for detecting and sensing areas of algae is unbeatable. By using UAS platforms with the newest remote sensing techniques, we can quantify and assess concentrations of algae and algae blooms within bodies of water. Drone imagery gives your project team what they need to deploy efficient allocations of assets for any algae removal application.

7. Plant Species Recognition

Our geospatial services allow us to collect accurate data using thermal, RGD, and radiometric sources for modeling and analysis. Then, we present that monitoring data in easy-to-interpret reports to assist environmental managers in making informed, timely decisions while ensuring environmental compliance. At HANA Resources, we can accurately map and find the density of individual, invasive, and native plant species.

8. Plant Health Assessments

We utilize the latest UAV technology to provide you with a cost-effective and highly efficient way to collect data from high-res aerial surveys. Using multispectral imagery, we can create highly accurate and detailed maps for environmental monitoring. We can determine vegetation health and condition, identify plant height stratification, and recognize non-native species. Learn more about the benefits of using drones for environmental monitoring—Get in touch with us at HANA Resources and see how we can help you achieve success in your next environmental project. Related: Cultural Resources for Your Environmental Project

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