The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-3/W8
22 Aug 2019
 | 22 Aug 2019


J. Schulz

Keywords: airborne remote sensing, flooding, urban flash floods, bark beetle

Abstract. Currently, satellite-based systems and UAVs are very popular in the investigation of natural disasters. Both systems have their justification and advantages – but one should not forget the airborne remote sensing technology. The presentation shows with three examples very clearly how airborne remote sensing is still making great progress and in many cases represents the optimal method of data acquisition.

The airborne detection of forest damages (especially currently the bark beetle in spruce stands) can determine the pest attack using CIR aerial images in combination with ALS and hyperspectral systems – down to the individual tree. Large forest areas of 100 sqkm and more can be recorded from planes on one day (100 sqkm with 10cm GSD on one day).

Flood events – such as on the Elbe in 2013 – were recorded by many satellites. However, many evaluations require highresolution data (GSD 10cm), e.g. to clarify insurance claims. Here the aircraft system, which was able to fly below the cloud cover and was constantly flying at the height level of the flood peak, proved to be unbeatable.

The phenomenon of urban flash floods is one of the consequences of climate change. Cities are not in a position to cope with the water masses of extreme rain events and so are confronted with major damages. In Germany, a number of cities are already preparing to manage short-term but extreme water masses. The complicated hydrographic and hydraulic calculations and simulations require above all one thing – a precise data basis. This involves, for example, the height of kerbstones and the recording of every gully and every obstacle. Such city-wide data can only be collected effectively by photogrammetric analysis of aerial photography (GSD 5 to 10cm).