AusCover expands into the cold south

TERN’s collaborative network continues to grow and mature, and most recently this has seen TERN’s AusCover facility expand to include a Tasmanian node, led by Dr Arko Lucieer at the University of Tasmania.

Director of AusCover Dr Alex Held said that Arko’s expertise would complement AusCover’s strengths.

‘The AusCover network is excited to welcome Arko on board. He brings unique expertise, and will enable us to better provide for the remote sensing data needs of the Australian ecosystem science community.’

Arko’s main research focus is on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and the integration of multiple sensors for use in environmental remote sensing. His research group, TerraLuma, is one of a handful in Australia using UAS for remote-sensing applications, and one of few in the world with expertise and experience in the use of multiple sensors, including multispectral, thermal, hyperspectral, and LiDAR technologies simultaneously.

‘UAS fill an important niche, because they allow us to sample at a scale in-between on-ground field-data collection and airborne or satellite scale approaches’, Arko says.

‘So far, our focus with the UAS work has been on refining our techniques for the use of multiple sensors, and developing the image-processing algorithms to translate our raw data into valuable data products such as digital surface models. We’ve been able to use the UAS in a range of applications, including the assessment of coastal erosion, precision agriculture, vegetation mapping in Tasmania, and environmental monitoring in Antarctica.’

‘Our products are now mature enough that we can start addressing big-picture science questions about integrating data collected across multiple scales. I see a unique opportunity to address these questions in the context of AusCover’s comprehensive, national, remote-sensing data infrastructure.

‘I’m looking forward to working with the AusCover network to explore the ways we can utilise our techniques for the calibration and validation of satellite image products’, he says.

The new Tasmanian AusCover node will also be working with other TERN facilities on the ground in Tasmania, such as OzFlux and the team at the Warra Supersite.

And in the longer term, Arko can see opportunities for collaborating across the broader TERN network, developing new multi-scale data products to contribute to advancing Australian ecosystem science.

You can learn more at Arko’s website.


Arko’s research uses unmanned aircraft systems for remote sensing in a range of applications,
including environmental monitoring in Antarctica.



A close-up of the UAS in action

Published in TERN e-Newsletter September 2013

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