Assessing the Effectiveness of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for Snow Re-search in the Northern Rocky Mountains of Montana

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The ability to accurately map and monitor snow cover and the alpine ecosystem in which they re-side is critical in understanding the impacts of climate change and assessing snow water resource po-tential in mountains (IPCC, 2013). The goals of this project were (i) to conduct a mapping flight with an unmanned aerial system (UAS) in Lubrecht Forest, Montana, to determine the suitability of this method for snowpack research; and (ii) assess the quality and accuracy of UAS data in comparison with currently available data. This project was successful in mapping an area of ~200 acres with RGB, Near-Infrared, and Multispectral cameras, and contributed important knowledge of UAS operations, project design, and limitations for ongoing and future research.


© 2017 by the Authors

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