Airborne Research and Innovation

Case Studies

Some examples of recent work...

ARI supports an extremely broad portfolio of teaching and research activities across many disciplines. Some examples of recent and current work are outlined below.


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Baseline mapping and monitoring for the Unversity's Drumbrae estate

the drumbrae estate from the air
We are collaborating with colleagues in the department of Sustainability and Social Responsibility's Forest and Peatland Project to deliver baseline mapping and future monitoring of the University's new estate at Drumbrae.

Remote sensing for early detection of forest pathogens

an image of tree tops taken from a drone
E4 PhD student Liz Poulsom is studying methods to remotely sense the early onset of forest disease using a variety of sensing techniques.

Assessment of pollinator habitats using remote sensing techniques

image of daisies in a field margin from a drone
E4 PhD student Apithanny Bourne is studying the use of high resolution imaging and remote sensing to assess the quality of pollinator habitats such as floral field margins and species rich grasslands.

Drones and satellites to track tundra ecosystems

Mavic 3M drone in flight with snow covered mountain behind
We've been delighted to support SENSE (Satellite Data in Environmental Science) PhD student Calum Hoad on his work using drones and satellite data to understand changes in Arctic tundra.

Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of carbon dioxide flux in peatland ecosystems

T680 drone on the gorund in a peatland
Working closely with the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH), E3 PhD student Gillian Simpson used high resolution remote sensing data in conjunction with ground sensors to study patterns of peatland carbon exchange.

Optical remote sensing for mapping and characterising oil spills

Maia sensor in flight
PhD student Safaa' Alawadhi is using drone, aircraft and satellite-based remote sensing to develop efficient and responsive methods to assist in mapping and managing oil spills.

Revealing the historic landscape of a Scottish slave plantation at the Belmont Estate, Grenada

Image of an old painting of the Belmont Estate, Grenada from the time of the slave plantation
We are deploying our advanced drone LiDAR and photogrammetry systems to the Belmont Estate in Grenada help reveal traces of a historic landscape of enslavement.

Ultra-high resolution imagery and AI for avian flu impact assessment

We are collaborating with the Scottish Seabird Centre and colleagues within the School of Biological Sciences to deploy the latest imaging and machine learning technologies in support of research into the ongoing avian flu epidemic affecting seabirds across the northern hemisphere.

Ultra-high resolution imaging and mapping of dinosaur trackways

We have been working with colleagues within GeoSciences to digitally scan dinsosaur trackways on the Isle of Skye.

High-resolution UAV imagery for mapping pollinator floral resources in a temperate montane heathland

Matrice 300 drone on landing pad in Glen Caick
In collaboration with Highlands Rewilding we have supported post-graduate student research into the utility of drone imagery in mapping pollinator resources and connectivity in the Scottish Highlands.

Multi-sensor methods for mapping historic river channels

laser point cloud showing current and historic river channels
In collaboration with the Eddleston Water Project and researchers at the University of Dundee we have been involved in a study to assess various sensing techniques to map the historic river channel near Eddleston.

Mapping beach plastic pollution using high-resolution airborne sensing

tyne sands beach from the air
We have been supporting MSc research into the use of high resolution imagery and multi-spectral sensing for the automated identification and mapping of coastal plastic pollution.