The DAFNE Project and drones

Drone Safe Register qualified pilots are involved all around the world in some ground breaking UAV projects including DAFNE – using drone video combined with maps to provide information and inspire the imaginations of those planning for the Zambian landscape.

Simon Spratley is a DSR member who is working with DAFNE in Zambia teaching workshops to students regarding UAVs and passing on his knowledge.

Flying High with DAFNE – Fritz Kleinschroth

Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are a cutting-edge technology allowing aerial views of the earth in extremely high resolution. Facilitated by our partner ATEC-3D, the DAFNE project uses drones to monitor ecosystem quality, agricultural productivity, water temperature and even flow speed.

In March and September 2018, we carried out the first two drone-flying missions in Zambia, facilitated by DAFNE partner, the Integrated Water Resources Management Centre at University of Zambia (UNZA). Simon Spratley of ATEC-3D organized a three-day drone-flying workshop with students on the compounds of UNZA in Lusaka, followed by a joint field trip to the Lunsemfwa catchment, Mazabuka, the Kafue River and Lake Kariba.

We learned and tested the application of two types of drones, equipped with various sensors to collect videos, a robust graphics booster, multispectral and thermal imagery at a resolution as high as a few centimeters pixel size. Besides the scientific application for remote sensing, drone images and videos are an extremely powerful tool for communication. The complex nexus of water, energy and food requires that very different stakeholders communicate with each other.

Maps are an established and useful way to create a common understanding of where interests in the landscape converge and conflict. Yet, maps can sometimes be difficult to interpret. We suggest that spatial videos, filmed by drones flying over a landscape, are vehicles to illustrate connections in the landscape and spark the imagination of almost everybody. Using these videos in combination with maps for participation processes will help people to get a sense of the connectedness of the landscape and allow them to develop joint visions for that landscape.

Project DAFNE

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About the Author: DSR Journalist

Harrison Green

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