Klemas, V.V., 2015. Coastal and environmental remote sensing from unmanned aerial vehicles: An overview.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer a viable alternative to conventional platforms for acquiring high-resolution remote-sensing data at lower cost and increased operational flexibility. UAVs include various configurations of unmanned aircraft, multirotor helicopters (e.g., quadcopters), and balloons/blimps of different sizes and shapes. Quadcopters and balloons fill a gap between satellites and aircraft when a stationary monitoring platform is needed for relatively long-term observation of an area. UAVs have advanced designs to carry small payloads and integrated flight control systems, giving them semiautonomous or fully autonomous flight capabilities. Miniaturized sensors are being developed/adapted for UAV payloads, including hyperspectral imagers, LIDAR, synthetic aperture radar, and thermal infrared sensors. UAVs are now used for a wide range of environmental applications, such as coastal wetland mapping, LIDAR bathymetry, flood and wildfire surveillance, tracking oil spills, urban studies, and Arctic ice investigations.