March 18 – 2:00 PM CST

Innovative Use Cases: Drones for Reclamation Monitoring

Large or remote areas of land are challenging and expensive to monitor for landform stability or ecological parameters using ground-based methods. Drone imagery is becoming a prevalent part of environmental monitoring with more data than ever before available for analysis. Recent developments in computer vision and artificial intelligence, combined with knowledge in ecological characterization, can allow for the analysis of large volumes of rapidly compiled remote sensing data for relevant signals and provide new understanding. For this presentation, we will discuss the state of the science of drones for remote sensing and then present several relevant case studies of successful application of remote sensing and AI technologies for monitoring environmental and reclamation projects.

Mike Rawitch is a geologist and geographer specializing in the implementation of geospatial technologies to optimize environmental problem solving. At Ramboll, his focus is on remotely sensed data analysis, collection and visualization applied to environmental monitoring. Mike’s team at Ramboll uses aerial imagery and image analysis to understand site conditions, reduce uncertainty and help efficiently characterize and monitor environmental sites. Mike is an Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) team member and is a co-author on the ITRC Chapter for Advanced Site Characterization Tools. He is also a certified Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Remote Pilot, is a senior Unmanned Aerial System (UAS or drone) operator within the Ramboll’s global drone practice group and serves on industry advisory boards at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas for his expertise in UAS.