In the framework of the VlIR-UOS-North-South-South initiative aimed at capacity building for developing countries, Latin-American and African Universities participate in a 7 day workshop on UAV-technology, currently being held in Lima, Peru. In this workshop organized by University Nacional la Molina, researchers from Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Cuba and Ethiopia receive training on UAV mapping, making use of low-cost and open-source technologies. Beside the theoretical training and hands-on with simulators and training planes, also a 3-day demonstration is organized in the Andes region. With the UAV imagery, the researchers hope to study and improve productivity of small scale agro-ecosystems. In the next month’s 4 other demonstrations will be organized at the participating countries, ranging from sugar cane monitoring in Cuba to fighting malaria spread in Ethiopia.
The training is given by my company, Usense, which is using the APM 2.5 as autopilot for mapping purposes. I am happy to say that the researchers were very enthusiastic to work with this open-source technology and found it very user-friendly. You'll probably see some of them around here in at Diydrones in the coming months. Currently I am giving them a demonstration with the USENSE-X8 UAV on high altitude. Yesterday we flew at 4000m, with some stunning views from the Andes!
Prof. Eddie Schrevens (KULeuven), who is leads the project: “We have been investing quite some money on satellite imagery to evaluate the productivity of agro-ecosystems in many parts of Peru, without success due to high cloud coverage in these regions. Since one year we are doing tests with imagery taken from a UAV resulting in high-quality orthomosaics and digital surface models. These UAVs fly, and fly well, but now we need to investigate in smart algorithms to derive the right information from the imagery.
Some more pictures from the workshop