Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or ‘drones’) have become popular instruments for a wide range of emerging applications such as mapping, search & rescue, infrastructure monitoring, precision farming, transport of goods and film-making. The UAV market has been valued at US$130 billion in recent years (source: PWC report 2017) and the outlook remains extremely promising for the years ahead. The economic boom has boosted the scientific and technological development of UAV technologies in the last decade.
In this context, UAV-g was initiated in 2011 in Zurich as the ISPRS scientific event dedicated to UAVs in geomatics and remote sensing. Three subsequent editions took place in Rostock (2013), Toronto (2015) and Bonn (2017), making UAV-g a well-established and recognized event outside the ISPRS community too. In the various editions, the new scientific challenges and the technological developments have made the need for an inter-disciplinary approach leading to stronger synergies with adjacent disciplines even more evident.
UAV-g 2019 will take place on 10-12 June 2019. For the first time in its history, UAV-g will be hosted during the ISPRS Geospatial Week (GSW), thus reaching a larger audience involved in various remote sensing disciplines. The setting of the University of Twente (Enschede, the Netherlands) campus and its facilities (i.e. flight area) will enable demonstrations and exhibitions related to the recent developments within unmanned platform technologies.
UAV-g 2019 has the ambition to bring together experts from different domains; besides experts in remote sensing and geoscience, researchers from robotics, computer vision and artificial intelligence will join this event. This multidisciplinary environment is also reflected in the composition of the Scientific Committee comprising 33 experts with very different areas of expertise and working in 16 countries all over the world.
The paper submission has been successful: more than 100 papers have been accepted after the Scientific Committee revision process. The received papers reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the event, ranging from the study of the natural environment to on-board sensor development and autonomous navigation. These contributions have also confirmed the relevance of UAV technology worldwide: all five continents will be represented at the conference.
About 15 oral sessions (some of them in parallel) will be given in the three full-day programme. Three invited speakers will present the newest developments and trends in different aspects of the UAV domain. Edward Anderson (opening keynote) will give a presentation on the use of new technologies (such as UAVs and artificial intelligence) for urban resilience in Africa. Pablo Zarco-Tejada will present the current trends in the use of UAVs for precision agriculture and forestry monitoring. Margarita Chli (joint keynote with parallel workshops) will show how vision-based perception is boosting the intelligence of flying robots.
The presence as sponsors of many companies operating in the UAV domain further confirms that UAV-g is a relevant event to create synergies, learn about the recent developments and exchange views on the future directions of UAV research, applications and services. In this regard, Drones – Open Access Journal (MDPI) and Whittles Publishing will sponsor the UAV-g Best Paper Award and Best Poster Award respectively.