Digital Cameras Aid Research

Aerial surveys become a way of routinely checking areas burned by wildfires or invaded by pests or weeds, and digital imagery is a major part of the technique.

A team prepares to launch an unmanned aerial vehicle to take photos of vegetation near Las Cruces, New Mexico.
At the Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces, New Mexico, a team of scientists prepares to launch an unmanned aerial vehicle from a catapult. The mission: to survey vegetation on the ground in studies of vegetation changes over time. In the foreground are engineering technician Craig Winters (left) and pilot Dave Thatcher. Other researchers are in the ground control station.
courtesy Stephen Ausmus/ARS