UNEP Global Environmental Alert: Eco-Drones
The United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Environmental Alert Service (GEAS) published a bulletin for May 2013, detailing the use of unmanned aerial drones for environmental monitoring. Eco-drones, which can fly partially or fully autonomously, offer a low-cost option for collecting imagery in a variety of settings.
Drones for environmental monitoring vary widely in price, size, speed, and range; different types of drones are optimal for different situations. Generally, drones can offer high resolution, capture specific time series, and monitor in real time to collect information that cannot be otherwise obtained through satellite imagery or ground surveying. Due to their light weight and durability, drones are also able to fly at extremely low altitudes and collect information in high-risk airspaces.
The Global Environmental Alert Service “is a mechanism for identifying, selecting, and communicating early warning information on emerging issues” relating to the environment. The bulletins are intended to inform policymakers and the public of cutting-edge developments in the environmental sciences. You can receive the GEAS by an email subscription or browse current and past editions of the GEAS online.