Thursday, 10 August 2017

wifi mapping of building interiors using drones

This is extremely impressive - two drones operating in tandem on the exterior of a structure and mapping the interior remotely using wifi. Reference data and resulting 3D map below..

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Space Debris - Sentinel 1a

I posted last year about a collision with Sentinel 1a - something had struck one of the solar panels. A paper has recently been published from the hardware side - which is interesting to me as a downstream user - hypothesising the causes of the damage. Information on the debris tracked around that time plus info on change in orientation/position of the satellite help them to classify it.


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Bonfires in Belfast - 11th/12th July 2017

I was dissapointed to find that there are very few Sentinel 2 or Landsat 8 night-time satellite images available over Ireland. Apparently you have to request it for Landsat and the S2 data acquisition plan doesn't currently capture any imagery at night. I wanted to see what the 11th night celebrations look like from space. After asking on ResearchGate I was directed back to the NASA firemapping service which I wrote about in May and had already forgotten about. Although the imagery is of a much coarser spatial resloution than the Sentinel or Landsat missions there are quite a number of hotspots visible all over the place - plus I have checked them against demographics/electoral districts and they seem to line up quite closely.

Hotspots picked out from space

Unionist majority areas most likely to celebrate the 11th/12th with a bonfire

Update: This imagery got me wondering what use they might be to me - they very clearly line up with the unionist demographics of the area (unsurprisingly) but correlating bonfire number/intensity versus turnout was one potential test, and for any previous elections post-July 12th could you use the fires to predict the turnout? The nationalist community internment remembrance bonfires are also due soon so it is a potential dataset for both communities...

Update: I've had a look again this morning (15th Aug) but the weather was too bad (almost 100% cloud cover)  so no visible August bonfires unfortunately. 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Fermoy Flights

NCG have been performing some spectral tests recently over grass plots (grass with different levels of nitrogen applied) in the Teagasc research centre in Fermoy, Cork. This is part of the GRASS-Q project that kicked off late last year (Mohammad, Aidan and Tim) - some interesting result coming out of it. They were a man short on the drone team so I was down lending a hand yesterday AM flying it for them at the crack of dawn to get in before grass cutting. We had the Sequioa mounted on the 3DR and also used the OCI2000 Hyperspec operating on the ground for some additional spectral profiles. All this in conjunction with Teagasc research staff using the Grassshopper (sonic grass press with GPS).

Beautiful weather as you can see from the pic, beautiful all weekend - so was very disappointing to see we had three rejections for image acquisition on 22nd, 23rd and 24th on the Dublin Port project with Darragh.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

More contrails

We're getting some really good results from the Pleiades Tri-Stereo and the TerraSARX Staring Spotlight derived models for the port - but following on from the recent post on contrails, this is another side to them - quite beautiful.

I can't find a link to the National Geographic video external from Twitter or Facebook but it has been reposted here.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Clouds and Contrails

One of the projects we are working on is the SCSI/ESA funded "Satellites for BIM" assessing the suitability of satellites as a tool for planning and monitoring construction projects in coastal regions and ensuring environmental compliance throughout the project and afterwards when the site is operational. We have been awarded some TerraSARX Staring Spotlight imagery and some Pleiades Tri-Stereo Optical. The TSX data was very easy to order, due to the cloud penetrating capabilities, it was done in 2 emails. The optical on the other hand must wait for a cloud free opportunity to coincide with the satellite overpass - and we have had to cancel the last three acquisitions due to this. The weather over this weekend was great, really as good as Ireland gets in the summer but unfortunately the next overpass was not due until today. Looking at the HighRes visible image over the country there is a bank of cloud further north but Dublin bay (our target site) is relatively free from cloud cover, which is very promising. However, you do notice a network of intersecting lines of clouds that look to me from the pattern to mimic air traffic passing over Ireland to the UK and the rest of Europe and are therefore almost certain to be contrails left by airliner traffic overhead - and these are sitting over the bay.... I have listened to Gillian Whelan in UCC present a number of times on these - contrails can form a foundation for other clouds to form on, so they get bigger with time rather than smaller and they can spread over a significant distance. They also contribute to global warming as they reflect some of the suns energy back down to the earths surface.

Hopefully they wont interfere with the satellite tasking, it should be due in the next hour. Bad weather is due back again on Wednesday.

Update - Rejected!

Update 2 - What a difference a few days made. This was the S2a overpass on the 17th, hardly a cloud to be seen from Waterford to Armagh.

Update 3 - Success. We got lucky on the Tuesday. Tri-stereo Pleiades imagery captured - looking forward to seeing what we can make with it.

About Me

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My name is Conor. I am a PostDoc and Lecturer. These few lines will (hopefully) chart my progress through academia and the world of research.