Using Multispectral Aerial Imaging to Monitor Rural Ponds






System Hardware:

            Cessna 182 airplane

            DuncanTech multispectral digital camera



Image Specifications (from 7,500 ft AGL):

            Spatial resolution = 0.75 meters

            Image size = 1044 x 780 meters (.65 x .48 miles)



Imaging Capabilities:

Multispectral imaging is an easy and cost effective method to obtain information for large areas (Figure 1).  Detailed information about vegetation conditions in and around ponds as well as information about turbidity and sedimentation can be seen in the following images.


            Figure 2. Relatively clear water pond with little or no aquatic vegetation.


            Figure 3. Relatively clear water pond with substantial aquatic vegetation.


            Figure 4. Farm pond with turbid water and moderate aquatic vegetation.


            Figure 5. Pond inundated with aquatic vegetation and sediment build-up.


Aerial photography allows for increased control of the imaging area and the time(s) at which the imagery is acquired.



System Costs:

            The plane, pilot, and imaging technician total about $250 - $300 per hour.


For example, to image an area approximately 8 miles x 7 miles (56 sq miles) it takes about 3 hours (Figure 6).