Central Michigan University Buys UAV to Monitor Wetlands

Central Michigan University (CMU) has acquired an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with a hyperspectral camera that will help advance research imaging of Great Lakes wetlands.

According to CMU, researchers will use the six-foot-long helicopter, controlled via computer or radio waves, to capture images of vegetation in wetlands throughout the Great Lakes basin. CMU says this work will help continue the fight against invasive species, protect rare plants, and preserve and protect fresh water.

The UAV, CMU notes, flies at about 10 miles an hour and to the height of a 40-story building. It is flown under Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, the university adds.

The hyperspectral camera mounted on the UAV takes high-resolution images. CMU reports that instead of capturing an image that shows a tree, for example, the hyperspectral camera will show individual plant leaves throughout a wetland.

CMU says it will use the UAV for the first time this spring to determine the biodiversity of a wetland area in Washtenaw County.


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