The design and the development of a hyperspectral unmanned aircraft mapping system for the detection of invasive plants

Remy Dehaan, Leslie Weston, Rodney Rumbachs

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

30 Downloads (Pure)


Cost-effective tools for rapidly identifyingthe spatial distribution of invasive plants in naturaland managed landscapes are needed by land managersacross the world to identify and monitor the spread ofweeds. This paper describes a low-cost unmanned aircraftsystem (UAS) designed for the rapid acquisitionof hyperspectral image data. The system integrates aHeadwall Hyperspectral Visible Near-Infrared (VNIR)sensor covering 400'1000 nm range, a PCO EdgeCMOS camera, a Cyber Technology autopilot andInertial Navigation System (INS) including Real TimeKinematic (RTK) GPS, a data acquisition computerand custom software for operating the sensor. Theimaging and autopilot systems are mounted on lowcostfixed wing and helicopter platforms. The Zealous2 helicopter kit was developed by RC Helicopters andbuilt by Cyber Technology in Western Australia. TheZealous 2 consists of a jet turbine engine poweringmain rotors spanning 2.1 m and is capable of lifting 15kg. The fixed wing plane known as a 'Super Hauler'is made from balsa wood, has a wing span of 3.6 mand is 3 m long. The plane was designed and builtby BTE Engineering in the USA and is capable oflifting 20 kg. The GPS/INS system provides aircraftposition, pitch, roll and yaw information allowing forrapid geo-registration of the imagery. This paper willdiscuss the challenges associated with developmentand integration of the components for mapping invasiveplants using unmanned aircrafts and the spectralcharacteristics of a number of target invasive species.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th Australasian Weeds Conference (2012)
Subtitle of host publicationDeveloping Solutions to Evolving Weed Problems
EditorsValerie Eldershaw
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherWeed Society of Victoria
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780646586700
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event18th Australasian Weeds Conference (2012) - The Sebel and Citigate Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 08 Oct 201211 Oct 2012 (Conference proceedings)


Conference18th Australasian Weeds Conference (2012)
Abbreviated titleDeveloping Solutions to Evolving Weed Problems
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'The design and the development of a hyperspectral unmanned aircraft mapping system for the detection of invasive plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this