In 2007 TNO started to fly some sensors on an unmanned helicopter platform. These sensors included RGB, B/W and
thermal infrared cameras. In 2008 a spectrometer was added. The goal for 2010 is to be able to offer a low altitude flying
platform including several sensors. Development of these sensors will take place the next years. Since the total weight of
the payload should be < 7kg, the weight requirements for the individual sensors will be quite strict. Applications include
gas concentrations, water quality, pipelines, etc. Collaboration still is possible.
Combining the information of several sensor systems is a difficult task. The first steps have been performed in 2007
where RGB and thermal infrared images have been combined together with the coordinates of the platform itself. The
offline data processing includes stitching video images and classification, and correcting for instability of the helicopter
itself. As environmental regulation will become even more strict than today, it is expected that high spatial resolution
sensors that can measure pollution near highways and urban areas, water quality of rivers and lakes, find and track
pollution sources etcetera are key systems in the near future.
In September 2007 and April 2008 flight campaigns have been carried out, demonstrating two applications of the system.
These include the detection of inland salty water, and the detection of benthic diatoms on an estuarine tidal flat. The
results of the two cases are discussed.