The Drone Alternative: Multispectral Kite Aerial Photography & Photo Processing Workflow
Drones have recently received a lot of media attention for their use as a surveillance tool. Their utility for video and still aerial photography is undeniable, but legislation threatens to restrict the use of drones even for scientific purposes. But kites are rarely subject to the same restrictions, even if they are used for similar purposes. Additionally, kites fly in windy conditions that would ground a drone and flight times are limited by arm muscle endurance, not by battery life. Processing the photos from either a drone or a kite, however, follows largely the same workflow. I will present a low-cost aerial photography platform that uses a kite to lift the sensors and discuss free and open source photo processing options including stitching and georeferencing.