Photography and temperature measurements from a remotely piloted vehicle

I. Jonsson, Jan Mattsson, Lennart Okla, Sven Stridsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radio-controlled model planes are useful when carrying out photography, especially from low altitudes, and meteorological soundings (air temperatures in boundary layers). Soundings were carried out with a system which stored the measured data on board the plane pending evaluation after the flight. The payload of the plane was a camera and equipment for measuring temperature and air pressure (altitude). Data were stored so that the signals from the temperature and pressure sensors (thermistor and micro aneroid respectively) lit a combination of light-emitting diodes (BCD code) that corresponded to the actual temperature and pressure (altitude). At the instant of measurement, this combination was photographed togther with the ground surface. the camera manoeuvred by means of servo-function. The position of the plane at the instant of measurement was determined on the basis of pressure values and air photographs. Photography from model planes is not a new method. However, previous results have in general been inadequate because, for safety's sake, cheap and consequently less advanced cameras were used. The determination of temperature and other soundings from such aircraft has been little tried hitherto. Photography and sounding from model planes can be of interest in ecological, physical-geographical and meteorological contexts. The method lends itself best to a rapid and handy documentation from the air of a water or land area, e.g. a severely polluted area, or a wind-eroded ground surface, or to the sounding or sampling of aif qualities such as pollution in the smoke plumes of stacks and other types of discharge, of radioactivity in the air over leaking plants, of temperature and humidity conditions in urban boundary layers and of eolian dust in the air over wind-exposed erosion surfaces in arid areas. Radio-controlled model planes could possibly also be used for dissemination of e.g. silver iodide in order to artificially release precipitation and for pollination of forest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-125
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1980

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


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