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Lucieer, A., Robinson, S.A., Turner, D. and Malenovsky, Z. (2015) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) remote sensing datasets for ASPA135, Robinson Ridge, and Red Shed, Ver. 1, Australian Antarctic Data Centre - doi:10.4225/15/555D755E50DB8, Accessed: 2022-09-28
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) remote sensing datasets for ASPA135, Robinson Ridge, and Red Shed
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Australian Antarctic Data Centre, Australia
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These datasets were acquired in the 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 Summer seasons from a multi-rotor unmanned aircraft system (UAS), also known as OktoKopter. This research focuses on the development of novel remote sensing techniques to map the spatial variability of moss bed health. At each site we flew the OktoKopter with three sensors: 1) an RGB digital SLR camera resulting in ultra-high resolution aerial photography, 2) a 6-band multispectral sensor, and 3) a thermal imaging sensor.

A structure-from-motion (SfM) workflow was applied to derive orthomosaics from the hundreds of overlapping images acquired by each sensor. For the 2011 datasets, a very detailed description of the data collection process is provided in Turner et al. (2014) and Lucieer et al. (2013).

For ASPA135, Robinson Ridge, and Red Shed the following datasets were generated:
- "name of site"_vis_1cm.bsq: RGB orthomosaic from overlapping DSLR photography
- "name of site"_mca_3cm.bsq: 6-band multispectral image mosaic
- "name of site"_tir_10cm.bsq: thermal image mosaic

These datasets are provided in the Exelis IDL/ENVI band sequential (.bsq) format, which is compatible with ArcGIS.

For the Robinson Ridge site several additional data products were generated as described in Turner et al. (2014) and Lucieer et al. (2013):
- Robbos50m_DEM2cm.bsq and LnFlowAccMC.bsq: digital elevation model (DEM) and flow accumulation modelled with a Monte Carlo simulation based on a 2 cm resolution DEM derived from SfM (Lucieer et al.,2013).
ArcMap project: Lucieer2013_Robbos_DEMFlowAccumulation.mxd
- Robbos_MCA_new_3cm_refl.bsq: raw multispectral imagery converted from DN-values to reflectance value based on calibration panels and spectral field observations.
- Robbos_MCA_new_3cm_MTVI2.bsq: MTVI2 vegetation index derived from multispectral reflectance imagery
- moss_health_map.img: MTVI2 values converted to % moss health based on a regression of quadrat observations
- robbos_tir_3cm_calibrated_bl.bsq: thermal imagery resampled to 3 cm to match the multispectral imagery and calibrated to absolute temperature based on field temperature observations
- moss_temp_map.img: temperature for moss areas only, where moss was identified through thresholding the MTVI2 image
- ArcMap projects and figures corresponding to figure numbers in Turner et al. (2014)

The ASPA135 10 Feb 2013 datasets were collected with an RGB DSLR camera. The datasets in this folder are an RGB orthomosaic and DEM for the main melt puddle in ASPA135 when there was less snow cover than Feb 2011. The processing workflow was identical to the Robbos workflow described in Lucieer et al. (2013).

The Videos folder contains two videos:
- 3D model of Robbos Lucieer et al. (2013)
- UAS flight with hyperspectral SkyJib multi-rotor 5 Feb 2013 at Robinson Ridge (hyperspectral data still to be processed and published)

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Spatial accuracy:
- All data layers were georeferenced with ground control markers. These markers were coordinated with dual frequency DGPS with an absolute accuracy of 2 - 4 cm. The UAV data layers have positional accuracy in the range of 6 to 10 cm. See details on accuracy assessment in associated publications.

Multispectral imagery
- The multispectral imagery from the TetraCam mini-MCA shows significant noise artefacts. This is a property of the sensor that is difficult to correct for.

UAV operations:
- The flight duration of the multi-rotor UAVs used in this project was only short due to limited battery capacity in low temperatures. Flight time were in the order of 5 minutes. The impact of short flight times is that only small areas (~1 ha per flight) can be covered.
- Due to the magnetic declination (98 degrees west) the UAV autopilot did not function in any of the study sites. All flights were manually flown.

Snow cover:
- In the February 2011 there was substantial snow cover in the ASPA135 and Red Shed study sites. Many of the moss areas were therefore covered in snow.

See the word document in the download file for further information.


These data are publicly available for download from the provided URL.

A copy of one of the publications is available for download to AAD Staff only.

Temporal Coverages

Spatial Coverages

Science Keywords

Additional Keywords

  • Remote Sensing
  • ASPA
  • Moss
  • OktoKopter




  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle


  • All-Sky Camera
  • Advanced Vidicon Camera System on Nimbus-1
  • Advanced Vidicon Camera System on Nimbus-2
  • Multispectral Camera


  • turner, darren (TECHNICAL CONTACT)
  • malenovsky, zbynek (TECHNICAL CONTACT)
  • connell, dave (DIF AUTHOR)

Use Constraints

This data set conforms to the CCBY Attribution License (

Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at when using these data.

Creative Commons License