Thanks to ongoing improvements in both platform and sensor technology, drones are becoming a much more viable platform for remote sensing tasks. While governmental organizations have traditionally utilized aircraft or on-the-ground personnel for their surveying needs, an increasing number of projects are employing drones equipped with lidar and other sensors to collect data. From road project planning and environmental research to uncovering ancient archeological sites, lidar and drones are providing a plethora of new data to government agencies. 

This report details five case studies of government organizations who are utilizing drones and lidar to gain new insights. Among the case studies are:

• Using drones to map and visualize a hard-to-reach ancient site in a National Monument
• Improved surveying workflows for a complex road interchange project
• Mapping crucial marsh habitats in Natural Estuarine Research Reserves
• Pioneering and demonstrating sensors for river and water assessments
• Applying specialized lidar to aid a NASA carbon monitoring project

Download the full report
to learn how drones and improved sensor technologies are transforming the work of NOAA, NASA, USGS, and more.

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About The Editor

Carla Lauter is the editor of Geo Week News, the Geo Week Newsletter, and
the SPAR 3D Newsletter. Before joining Geo Week and SPAR 3D, Carla spent ten years
working on NASA and National Science Foundation projects focusing on Earth science
communication. Most recently, she worked on web-based outreach and online interactives
for NASA Earth Science satellite missions measuring sea level, salinity, and ocean color
from space.