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UAV-Based Survey of Glaciers in Himalayas: Challenges and Recommendations

Ramsankaran, R and Navinkumar, PJ and Dashora, A and Kulkarni, AV (2021) UAV-Based Survey of Glaciers in Himalayas: Challenges and Recommendations. In: Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing .

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12524-020-01300-7


Role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-based remote sensing (RS) applications in glaciology have increased in recent years. UAV-based RS studies on mountain glaciers are mainly focussing on obtaining accurate ultra-high-resolution data from UAV images for different glaciological applications. However, studies understanding the challenges involved during UAV surveys on complex terrains of high mountain glaciers are inadequate and they are not available for places like Himalayas. Therefore, this study aims to examine and derive strategies to minimize those challenges on such complex glacier and their margin topography. Here, UAV surveys were conducted using a fixed-wing commercial-grade off-the-shelf UAV (eBee series, SenseFly) on three glacier sites (East Rathong, Hamtah and Panchinala-A) located in different climate regimes within the Indian part of Himalayas. From the UAV collected images, ultra-high-resolution ortho-mosaicked images and Digital Elevation Models were generated at 0.1 m ground sample distance and their accuracies were assessed using the collected ground control points. Based on the challenges observed, the study recommends criteria for selection of best-suited take-off/landing locations on a mountain glacier and its margins for conducting efficient UAV surveys in the complex terrain such as in the Himalayas and possibly beyond. Recommendations reported in this article shall be useful to minimize the challenges and associated risks during UAV data acquisition using fixed-wing UAVs. © 2021, Indian Society of Remote Sensing.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing
Publisher: Springer
Additional Information: The copyright of this article belongs to Springer
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2021 06:18
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 06:18
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/67958

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