Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in coastal areas

Picture taken during coastal surveys in Ghana.

Picture taken during coastal surveys in Ghana.

The use of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is flourishing in Europe and abroad, and is revolutionizing many fields, among which the study of the environment, and all the sciences where a small-scale aerial view can provide high resolution information to study natural or human-induced processes. Coastal areas are subject to rapid changes, often in response to human-driven impulses, and their monitoring at local scale is often necessary to enhance our understanding of a range of different processes such as mechanisms of habitat loss or coastal erosion. In turn, understanding such processes is key to tackle more global problems related to climate change and increase of human pressures on natural areas. The SLCC is currently working in fields where the application of RPAS might prove transforming, such as coastal geomorphology and coral reef, seagrasses and mangrove ecology.

In this topic we work to answer the question: how can RPAS improve our understanding of coastal geomorphological and ecological processes?

Active projects

  • Collaboration with the New Regional Formations project (Prof. Westphal at ZMT)

Closest collaborations

  • Elisa Casella, Visiting Scientist at ZMT Bremen
  • Kwasi Appeaning Addo, University of Ghana
  • Thomas Mann, ZMT Bremen, Germany
  • George Wiafe, University of Ghana
  • Anthony Cummings, University of Texas, Dallas, US

Publications (since March 2014)

Casella, E., Rovere, A., Pedroncini, A., Mucerino, L., Casella, M., Cusati, A.L., Vacchi, M., Ferrari, M., Firpo, M., 2014. Estuarine , Coastal and Shelf Science Study of wave runup using numerical models and low-altitude aerial photogrammetry : A tool for coastal management. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 149, 160–167. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2014.08.012