Drone & Satellite Workshop

One-day workshop on using UAV and satellite sensing platforms.

September 20th, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

M600 Drone.

About the Workshop

Advanced cameras mounted on satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or 'drones') are increasingly being used in diverse fields, ranging from ecology to urban-planning. Multi-spectral satellite data can help monitor the impact of droughts, measure changes in vegetation, or reveal the long-term impact of humans on the landscape. Drones provide complementary, high-resolution and targeted information, and can be cheaply deployed to remote areas at high cadence.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University hosted a free 1-day workshop on using drones and satellite data for research.

Topics included:

  • Using drones and satellites to monitor coastal environments and ecology.
  • Archaeology from drones and satellites.
  • Drones as a tools for astronomy applications and monitoring light polution.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of custom-built drones versus off-the-shelf solutions.
  • Using drones to validate data from satellite cameras.
  • Science using multi-spectral and hyperspectral cameras.

Invited Speakers

Our invited speakers show that new technology can be harnessed for good: saving the natural world.

Prof Steven Longmore

Prof Steven Longmore is an astronomer and head of the astro-ecology groupat Liverpool John Moore's University. His astronomy research aims to understand how the Universe evolves over cosmic time. He also has a keen interest in applying astronomical techniques to tackle problems a little closer to home, such as helping ecologists save endangered species.

Dr Paul Butcher

Dr Paul Butcher is a senior research scientist with the Fisheries Conservation Technology Unit of the DPI. He is in charge of monitoring sharks as part of the NSW Government's $16 million Shark Management Strategy and is currently involved in the largest shark tagging program in the world. Since 2016, he has been running trials of drone technology to better detect and deter sharks off the NSW coast.

Program Overview

Slides from the presenters are now linked in the program below:

  Friday September 20th
  Speaker Subject Slides
09:00 - 09:15 Prof Mike Steel Welcome  
09:15 - 10:00 Prof Steven Longmore "Astro-Ecology": combining drones and astrophysics techniques to help tackle biodiversity loss and climate change PDF
10:00 - 10:15 Sam Shumack Drone and satellite data for monitoring desert ground cover PDF
10:15 - 10:30 Lara Talavera UAS-based monitoring of sandy coasts PDF
10:30 - 10:45 Morning Tea
10:45 - 11:00 Amir Zaribaf Pre-historical occupation of estuarine environments in the Persian Gulf PDF
11:00 - 11:15 Yuri Shendryk Fine-scale prediction of yield in sugarcane: A comparison of UAV-derived LiDAR scans and multispectral imagery PDF
11:15 - 11:30 Yuri Niella Space-usage models for tiger sharks PDF
11:30 - 11:45 Nick Harris Using drones for research at Macquarie PDF
11:45 - 12:00 Discussion Session
12:00 - 14:30 Long Lunch and Climate Action
14:30 - 14:55 Dr Paul Butcher Unearthing the truth about sharks using satellite and drone based technologies PDF
14:55 - 15:15 Andrew Colefax Drone-based tracking of white sharks near the surf zone PDF
15:15 - 15:30 Andrew Walsh Validation of Landsat and Sentinel products, using a drone-based approach PDF
15:30 - 15:45 Aman Chokshi Characterising Radio Telescopes with Communication Satellites. PDF
15:45 - 16:00 Michael Murphy Calibrating astronomical spectrographs with drones? PDF
16:00 - 16:15 Afternoon Tea
16:15 - 16:30 Richard McDermid Protecting the NightPDF
16:30 - 16:45 Jackie Carpenter Drones and the workforce of the future PDF
16:45 - 17:00 Wrap up & end of meeting


The workshop was held at the Collaborative Learning Forum, 17 Wally's Walk, Macquarie University.

Contact Details

Questions and comments should be addressed to cormacREMOVE.purcellREMOVEmqREMOVE.eduREMOVE.au.