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The latest round of EPA Ireland research funding calls have just been announced.

http://www.epa.ie/researchandeducation/research/epafunding/researchcall2017/

And there are two explicitly remote sensing calls under the water section:

Water 2017 Call – Project 4 Potential for the use of drones for the purposes of open lake water sampling €150,000
Water 2017 Call – Project 5 Remote sensing of surface waters in Ireland €250,000

 

I’d say there would also be RS elements to water projects 2 and 7.

 

Nothing obvious jumps out from the other two pillars- maybe a role for RS in the Climate call landuse project

 

 

 

Nice new report measuring total tree canopy cover in dublin using remote sensing:

http://www.dublincity.ie/sites/default/files/content/RecreationandCulture/DublinCityParks/NewsEvents/Documents/Dublin%20Tree%20Canopy%20Study%20FinalReport%202017.pdf

The Guardian has an interesting story here on the Kenyan government use of remote sensing to trigger insurance payouts to pastoral farmers hit by drought.

Farm production insurance isn’t a big industry in Ireland (or the EU) as the Single Farm Payment acts as a income support measure. But as the SFP becomes a smaller percentage of farm income and as it doesn’t cover all agriculture (lots of horticulture for example) its likely to grow and remote sensing will definitely play a role in payouts.

 

Flood maps

We’ve put on the Teagasc viewer a map showing the full extent of last years storm Desmond flood event.

Whilst media coverage focused on urban impacts the rural impact was across a much greater area.

2016 winter flooding in Ireland

The Irish local chapter of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation are hosting a 1 day Symposium in Limerick on the 26th of May 2017 .

The day will consist of short presentations in the morning, with hands-on workshop/practicals being run in the afternoon using OSGeo projects. The Keynote speaker is Dr.Markus Neteler (Mundialis/OSGeo/GRASS-GIS Project).

 

Following a recent decision by the OPW, UAV are no longer permitted to fly at  “National Monuments” in the Republic of Ireland without prior agreement. The decision was (rightly) taken for safety and nuisance reasons following several incidents.

A National Monument is a particular class of archaeological site ‘the preservation of which is a matter of national importance by reason of the historical, architectural, traditional, artistic or archaeological interest attaching  thereto’. There are several hundred across the country; if you are unsure where these monuments are, there are lists arranged by county available here compiled by the National Monuments Service. There is also a Wikipedia page dedicated to the subject with links to Google Earth. This is not a blanket ban, it relates to a specific set of monuments in state care. Access may be granted, but permission is required.

The decision does not apply to the vast majority of archaeological sites on private land around the country (map here) where drone flying is (for the time being at least) still possible. These sites are on private land, so landowner permission is absolutely necessary. Do bear in mind that all archaeological sites have legal protection, and wilful or negligent damage is punishable by law.

However, responsible drone flight should not pose a threat to of our archaeological heritage if proper regard is given to safety precautions before take-off. There is probably little direct risk to earthen monuments from drones; however upstanding masonry structures (e.g. castles, abbeys, round towers etc.) should be given a wide berth  (>= 30 m) in line with similar provisions for any upstanding structures or building (SI 563/2015). Take-off/landing in the  vicinity of sites should be strictly avoided, as should flying within building interiors.

Safety is in everyone’s best interests; archaeological sites are often in a precarious state and should always be approached with care and respect. Further crash incidents will likely see an extension of the prohibition to all archaeological sites and monuments. This would be an unfortunate development; low altitude aerial photography has played a hugely important role in Irish archaeological research over the years  and UAV have huge potential in archaeological mappingprospection and conservation.

Sentinel 2B is a part of Sentinel mission. It will join Sentinel 2A which was launched in 2015. Here are the links:

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-2/Second_colour_vision_satellite_for_Copernicus_launched

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39183353

 

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