New technologies that come to the market such as drones can have tremendous potential for scientific developments. WUR foresaw the impact of these technologies and set up an Unmanned Aerial Remote Sensing Facility (UARSF) in 2012. The drones can be equipped with the latest sensing technology such as hyperspectral, thermal and LiDAR cameras.
Application in various projects
WUR has developed techniques for the application of these
technologies in real cases. Several projects that benefit from WUR participation have been developed using this technology. The SPECTORS project monitors agricultural fields, while Natura 2000 monitors protected areas in the Netherlands and Germany. This technique can also be applied to coastal regions. The coral reefs of Bonaire have been monitored using a hyperspectral camera
alongside diving in selected areas. Another example of a coastal
application of this technology is the NatureCoast project that aims
to track dune formation in the Zandmotor.
The application possibilities for unmanned aerial systems and the technology that they hold are unlimited, especially when combined with satellite imagery and in-situ measurements. The information we gather with these new technologies enables new and innovative research that leads to quality of life improvements. Wageningen University and Research is using the latest technology to unravel the secrets of the Earth.