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Conveying scientific evidence from drones to decision makers

Conveying scientific evidence from drones to decision makers

Fera Science have developed a GIS-based web app to share high resolution imagery from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with a range of government and commercial clients.  The solution gives decision makers a deeper understanding of complex environmental and agricultural challenges, so they can plan more effectively to protect our natural resources and food security.

  • A root vegetable grower can identify inconsistencies in crop sowing to increase future food production
  • A government agency can survey and protect endangered trees more cost effectively
  • A large landowner can plan a more sustainable business expansion, while improving safety

In a world challenged by population growth, pollution and climate change, Fera Science provides accurate, scientific evidence to support critical decisions in the agriculture and environment industries.  It delivers research data and advice for 7,500 government and commercial organisations, helping them to increase food production, ensure water quality, maintain food nutrition and sustain our natural resources. 

Every year Fera undertakes over 600 research assignments and, in the Land Use and Sustainability Team specifically, nearly half of all projects involve the collection and analysis of remotely sensed imagery.  To supplement the use of imagery from satellites and manned aircraft, Fera acquired an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), capable of taking higher resolution spatial images at a significantly lower cost than a piloted aircraft.  However, to optimise the value of its new UAS services, Fera needed a way to make the high quality imagery and analysis available to clients, in a format that they could interrogate, interpret and ultimately use to make better-informed decisions.

Fera make use of Esri’s ArcGIS platform and have designed a web app that allows clients to view data from our UAV, zoom in to the full resolution of the imagery, turn on map layers and view attributes specifically relating to their projects.  A typical 25-minute UAV flight generates over 6GB of data, comprising up to 3,000 individual photographs that are mosaicked together to create a single, seamless image. 

To view this technology in action click here.