Shea Vineyard

Shea Vineyards

August 2016 and on going

Vineyards face many challenges to productivity including those from viruses. AirCTEMPs is investigating the use of multispectral imagery to detect virus presence in vineyards before it is visible to the human eye. The goal of this research is to determine whether this approach will lead to greater expediency in identifying and isolating this threat. We have begun a series of multispectral flights in infected vineyards and will continue these throughout the growing season in 2017. Our aerial imagery will be analyzed in conjunction with ground samples of vines that are taken during the flight.


NDVI for East River, CO

Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory Colorado/CUAHSI

August 2016

AirCTEMPs participated in a Consortia of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences (CUAHSI) short course focused on groundwater/surface water interactions held on the East River near Crested Butte, CO in the summer of 2016.  Flying our Storm AntiGravity and Phantom 3, we developed a high resolution digital elevation model of the 400x300m field site. Near IR imagery was flown over the entire site and clearly showed areas of high vegetation density where expect to see groundwater exchange.  In the video, you can see the high resolution Electrical Resistance Tomography lines being put in across the stream, and also the injection of the Rasazurin tracer used to document aerobic respiration.  This week long short course hosted ~25 students and was taught by faculty from the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado, University of New Mexico, University of Nevada, Reno and the U.S. Geological Survey. 

 Drone flying among trees

Climate change impacts on tree growth patterns

May 2016 and ongoing

In collaboration with another NSF-funded team that is investigating climate change impacts, AirCTEMPs collected thermal and five-band imagery over tree seedling plots in Arizona and Oregon. These measurements are being analyzed in coordination with extensive ground samples of tree canopy features. This project will continue over a five-year period to investigate local and regional impacts of climate change on coniferous forests.


Brady Hot Springs

March 2016

In collaboration with Kurt Fiegl of UW-Madison, AirCTEMPS conducted a pilot study to examine the feasibility of assessing fine-scale (cm level) elevation change between two dates 14 days apart at a geothermal site near Brady Hot Springs. The AirCTEMPS crew surveyed 700 sq meters at an 8 mm ground sampling distance using photogrammetry and 16 ground control points. Photogrammetry data was collected using a gimbal stabilized Sony A5100 camera with a 20 mm fixed focal length lens onboard a customized Tarot 650 quadcopter. All image processing of photogrammetric data was conducted using Agisoft Photoscan.   

Drone over Eg River in Mongolia

Eg River, Mongolia

September 2015

Taiman Foundation in Mongolia supported UNR AirCTEMPs' first deployment: testing of aircraft for conducting fish surveys.  While using low-cost video imaging, fish counts of the world’s largest trout, the Taiman, were shown to be possible from sUAS on the Eg River in northern Mongolia. Using a search and rescue pattern, Taiman were identified in video imagery, and sized using on-shore reference scales.

UAV flying


Flying fiber


September 2014

In collaboration with Heather Holms from University of Nevada-Reno, and Michael Wing from Oregon State University, we set up a tower with 4 IRGASONS.  Then we proceeded to suspend a Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) fiber optic cable from a UAS to measure a detailed temperature profile in front and behind a wind turbine.  These data will help unravel existing mysteries about stable atmospheric boundary layer dynamics, and tease out the possible impact of wind turbines on the local micrometeorology.

Project website