LIDAR Flights for Deadwood Stocks

As part of a bachelor thesis, we have surveyed two forest sites with our LIDAR system during the last few days. In the planned thesis, information about the deadwood stocks will be provided in the context of the new designation of a nature reserve.



Masterthesis: UAS-based mapping of vultures in Namibia

Our master student Candy Fahrenholz collected drone data in the national park in Namibia for her master thesis.

While in ancient times vultures were still considered a symbol of courage, power and knowledge, nowadays they belong to the “Ugly 5” in Africa and have a rather grim reputation as scavengers. Nevertheless, as the “health police,” they playing an important role in our ecosystem and acting as an ecological link. Against this backdrop there is a need to protect and conserve in general all vulture species. In October 2022 I started my UAS-based mapping of the endangered subspecies Lappet-faced vulture (Torgos tracheliotos) and White-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) in the Wildlife Reserve Kuzikus in Namibia. To combine remote sensing detection in nature conservation is an effective instrument with many benefits. With the research outcome I want to provide the opportunity to develop an effective management for a better understanding and protection. With my master thesis the scavengers should get more attention for sustainable conservation.




First Data Acquisition in the ReVersal Project

As part of the new project “ReVersal” we were out in sunny weather in a peatland ecosystem in West-Germany. Besides the operation of our new DJI M300 drone with the Zenmuse L1 LIDAR system, our WingtraOne was used to acquire multispectral image data. In addition, we were able to capture large-scale thermal data with our WIRIS thermal camera.

The data will be linked with gas flow measurements (closed chamber measurement) to make predictions about large scale gas fluxes of the studied peatland.



Open Position in Peatland Monitoring

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate to work with us in the European BIODIVERSA project “ReVersal – Restoring peatlands of the nemoral zone under conditions of varying water supply and quality”. The main objective of the project funded within the call “Conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems and their biodiversity, including a focus on aquatic systems” is to develop a spatio-temporally explicit indicator system for peatland restoration success across peatland sites and across spatio-temporal scales.

The successful candidate will work in an international and interdisciplinary team and will be responsible for the development of an upscaling approach from local field measurements via very-high resolution UAS-data to the satellite-scale. The candidate will derive peatland restoration indicators directly from multi-sensor remote sensing signals and model more complex indicators such as potential gas fluxes using machine learning methods.

The position announcement can be found here:



Earth Observation Network in the Bavarian Forest

From October 18-22 the Remote Sensing and Spatial Modelling Research Group met together with colleagues from different research institutions for a first joint meeting of our “Earth Observation Network” in the Bavarian Forest. During “Walk&Talk”, presentations and joint data acquisition in the field, we exchanged ideas and planned joint research and teaching activities in the field of remote sensing.

More information and pictures can be found on the pages of the Earth Observation network.


Repetition of grass (Elymus athericus) monitoring

After two years, we repeated the flights for the Elymus athericus grass monitoring project using multispectral imaging data on the Hallig Nordstrandischmoor. The data will be compared with the 2019 classification results to quantify the spread of this grass species. For more information about our project please read the following open access publication:

Oldeland, J., Revermann, R., Luther-Mosebach, J. et al. New tools for old problems — comparing drone- and field-based assessments of a problematic plant species. Environ Monit Assess 193, 90 (2021).



Flight campaign on bird sanctuary islands

As part of a master thesis and a research project, Dr. Jan Lehmann and the students Candy Fahrenholz and Henning Schneidereit accomplished a field campaign in the national park “Western Pomerania Lagoon Area” from the 13th of June until the 17th of June. With special permits of the national park, which are needed because of strict flight and entry bans, and in close cooperation with the staff of the national park, the two bird sanctuary islands, including active breeding colonies, were mapped with the WingtraOne. A multispectral dataset with information of about 700 hectare was collected and the reaction of the birds towards the drone were observed.

The campaign did work out exceedingly well and now we are looking forward to analyse the dataset in aspects of vegetation and structure as well as for the inventory of breeding birds.




Pre-Flight Setup


Taking calibration images


Checking our the data after successful flight


False-Color Imagery with 8cm GSD


Beautiful pattern


False-Color Orthomosaic of the Barther Oie


RGB Orthomosaic with 1.8cm GSD





Birds (Terns) sitting relaxed on their nests


Very high-resolution for bird counting


LIDAR Flights in Bog Ecosystem

With bright sunshine, blue skies and very hot weather (temperatures above 35 degrees) we made our first test flights in the Vechta Moor. Besides flying over a renaturalized and rewetted part of the bog ecosystem with our Wingtra (Reliable as always!), we have recorded a small area with a LIDAR system. Despite the difficult conditions (always strong thermal activites due to the heating of the black bare peat areas) the LIDAR flights were quite successful. Tests were carried out at different altitudes and different speeds. Now the data will be evaluated to find the optimal settings for flying over a bog ecosystem.

WingtraOne ready for takeoff


The basecamp. The shade was very welcome with temperatures above 35 degrees that day.


Preparation of the LIDAR flights.




The automatic waypoint flight is activated.


Always keep an eye on the drone.


Landing after a successful flight.


WingtraOne flights for wild bee monitoring

Within the context of a bachelor thesis we flew over a section of the renaturalized meadows along the river Ems with our WingtraOne drone. The image data (RGB and multispectral) will be evaluated with regard to open soil areas, as these areas can represent important habitats for wild bees. The flights were carried out under perfect weather conditions (blue cloudless sky and no wind).

A total area of 40ha was recorded.

Real-time flight monitoring with the tablet.

Preparations shortly before the take-off.

Ready to go…

Recording of the white reference panel for later calibration of the multispectral data.

Photo credits: All photos by Christoph Scherber.


Acquisition of Inselberg vegetation in Brazil

Our master student Milan is currently using our Mavic Pro in Brazil. The aim of his thesis is to determine the water holding capacity of Inselberg vegetation. Therefore, he is flying along several steep sidewalls. More information will follow soon…

Sidewall vegetation of an Inselberg in Brazil. We will calculate the vegetation cover to determine the water holding capacity of an Inselberg.