NIGK15002U Aerial and Near-field Remote Sensing

Volume 2019/2020

MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics with a Minor Subject


The course teaches fundamental understanding of the use of drones and fixed/mobile camera systems in biogeosciences, for detailed photo-monitoring and 3D modeling of different surface types. We evaluate relevant planning tools for mapping, monitoring of ecosystems, land use and calculation of areas/volumes, both in urban areas and in the open landscape. The course will provide a theoretical and practical understanding of the above topics through lectures, exercises and field work.


Learning Outcome


Emphasis will be put in understanding the theory of photogrammetry, the organisation of flight campaigns with drones/UAVs, camera functioning and setup and sensor calibration. Moreover, the course will emphasize image processing of high spatial resolution image data. The course aims at making use of the presented techniques in both natural and social aspects of the landscape.



The course aims at giving students the following skills:

- Evaluate opportunities and challenges with drones and other near-field Remote Sensing techniques in geosciences

- Planning of drone-flights: purpose, weather conditions, coverage area, legislation etc.

- Drone (helicopter/fixed-wing) versus fixed camera setups - pros and cons

- Use and calibrate digital cameras for mapping objects and land surfaces (using spectral response functions and camera geometry), and understanding the possibilities and limitations.

- Planning of and software for flight control and camera control

- Processing of point cloud data from Structure from motion and aerotriangulation for generating digital elevation models and ortho photos

- Understanding Thermal Imagers - the uses and limitations

- Involvement of experience from practice

- Basic MATLAB programming and automization



The course should give the students the competences to evaluate, criticise and compose a project based on aerial and/or near-field remote sensing data. The students should also be able to bring their obtained knowledge of sensor calibration and image processing of spatial and temporal data into play, based on an ability to integrate a theoretical and applied understanding of the presented methods in the course.

Please see Absalon course page

BSc in Geography and Geoinformatics or equivalent is recommended
The form of teaching is a combination of theoretical studies and practical exercises, presented through lectures, hands-on exercises, and field trips. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 136
  • Project work
  • 35
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, Ongoing preparation throughout the course
Oral examination, 20 min
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

Resubmission of written assignment, 20 minutes oral examination. The written assignment must be handed in prior to the re-examination week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see learning outcome.