Flying Sensors, sometime referred to as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), can be considered as the third generation remote sensing. First generation remote sensing was done from manned airplanes, which is very costly and requires substantial preparation time and access to airfields. Second generation remote sensing is the use of satellites. Notwithstanding the tremendous opportunities satellites offers, the practical application is hampered by (i) clouds, (ii) low resolution, and (iii) inflexibility in overpass time.
Flying Sensors can overcome those problems by delivering information (i) at the requested time, (ii) at the specific location, (iii) at a very affordable price, and (iv) at an ultra-high resolution.
Since December 2012 FutureWater with its partners HiView, Utrecht University, and ICIMOD has started piloting the use of Flying Sensors to support land and water management observations. Currently a range of Flying Sensors are at the disposal of the consortium and tasks between the consortium partners are clearly defined.
After one year of piloting already three commercial projects were successfully completed while simultaneously development, testing and improvement continued. Based on this success it was decided to continue along the same lines to ensure that Flying Sensors will be used to support a wide-range of clients from scientists to nature conservancies to farmers.
Some typical examples of applications can be found at: