I love this shot from the video that Leighton captured of one of our Hexa landings this week. I think it really highlights some of the really great parts and the challenging parts of field work. First, our field sites are beautiful. We are surrounded by forests, mountains, farms and pastures, a truly complex patch work of a human dominated landscape. We are also collecting some amazing data that would be very difficult to collect in any other way. The computer vision point clouds generated by Ecosynth will be used to make measurements of canopy structure and volume and the very high resolution images (< 20 cm2) will be very useful for planning and communication about the project.
And although I have probably gained more than a few grey hairs because of it, the Hexa flying has also been enjoyable, but challenging. As Dana pointed out, the field work has literally had its share of 'ups and downs'. From rotted propellers (Locktite eats plastic!!! - wish I had seen that sooner!), to challenging wind, lighting and cloud conditions (I thought it was supposed to be the dry season), we have been working at a vigorous pace to collect high-quality data for studying canopy structure during the day and at night working late to keep our fleet of copters in the air.
Time for bed and an early start tomorrow. Check out some photos of our adventure so far.