QuestUAV Survey fixed wing drone takes to the skies to inspect Ilkley Moor

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QuestUAV, a UK-based manufacturer of small, fixed wing UAVs, has deployed drones to aid a conservation.

The RGB Land Survey of Ilkley Moor used 8,000-plus images to create 650 hectare point cloud and ortho images, marking the largest area to be flown by QuestUAV pilots in one day.

The company was commissioned jointly by Friends of Ilkley Moor and Bradford Council Countryside Service to undertake the orthographic survey of the Ilkley Moor, using one of its Datahawk PPK fixed wing drones, equipped with a Sony RX100 RGB.

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In ideal flying conditions and taking 11 hours to complete, the drone crossed the moor 80 times covering almost 100 miles and taking over 8,000 overlapping digital photographs.

The photos will now be ‘stitched’ together to make both full vertical and 3D images of the Moors.

Commissioned and funded jointly by Friends of Ilkley Moor and Bradford Council Countryside Service the survey is part of the Heritage Lottery funded Big Ilkley Moor Survey managed by the Friends of Ilkley Moor.

Ian Condliffe of the Friends said that the photography will help create a baseline map of main habitats and vegetation types on the moor, focusing particularly on the wetter areas.

He added: “The high resolution of the photos and digital technology available these days will allow us to look at the photos using different light wavebands which will help identify and map the many smaller watercourses and footpaths on the moor.

“We also hope that computer software will enable young trees to be identified, mapped and counted automatically so that we can monitor what appears to be a growing number of trees on the moor’s lower slopes.”

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Emma Calder

The author Emma Calder

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