This study evaluates the use of a small unmanned aerial system (UAS) to collect imagery over artisanal mining sites in West Africa. The purpose of this study is to consider how very high-resolution imagery and digital surface models (DSMs) derived from structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetric techniques from a small UAS can fill the gap in geospatial data collection between satellite imagery and data gathered during field work to map and monitor informal mining sites in tropical environments. The study compares both wide-angle and narrow field of view camera systems in the collection and analysis of high-resolution orthoimages and DSMs of artisanal mining pits. The results of the study indicate that UAS imagery and SfM photogrammetric techniques permit DSMs to be produced with a high degree of precision and relative accuracy, but highlight the challenges of mapping small artisanal mining pits in remote and data sparse terrain.
|Title||Mapping informal small-scale mining features in a data-sparse tropical environment with a small UAS|
|Authors||Peter G. Chirico, Jessica D. Dewitt|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center|