The book, “Unmanned Aerial Systems for Monitoring Soil, Vegetation, and Riverine Environment”, provides a comprehensive exploration of the applications, technologies, and methodologies related to the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in monitoring and assessing soil, vegetation, and riverine environments. This text presents a detailed and structured approach, aiming to equip researchers, practitioners, and environmental enthusiasts with valuable insights into the potential of UAS for environmental monitoring.

Section 1: General introduction on the use of UAS for environmental monitoring

Chapter 1Remote sensing of the environment using unmanned aerial systems

Salvatore Manfreda, Eyal Ben Dor.

  • Definition and overview of unmanned aerial systems
  • Evolution and development of UAS technology
  • Advantages and limitations of UAS for environmental monitoring
  • Regulatory considerations and ethical aspects

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Chapter 2Protocols for UAS-based observation

Sorin Herban, Salvatore Manfreda, Goran Tmušić, Antonino Maltese, Anna Brook.

  • Types and characteristics of UAS platforms suitable for environmental monitoring
  • Sensors and payloads for soil, vegetation, and riverine assessments
  • Considerations for UAS selection based on project requirements
  • UAS mission planning and flight operations

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Chapter 3: Using structure-from-motion workflows for 3D mapping and remote sensing

Gil Gonçalves

  • Implementation of Structure-from-Motion (SfM) algorithms for environmental monitoring studies
  • 3D point clouds and digital surface models (DSMs)
  • planar and vertical precision

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Section 2: Vegetation monitoring

Chapter 4: Vegetation mapping and monitoring by unmanned aerial systems (UAS)—current state and perspectives

Jana Müllerová, Tomáš Bartaloš, Xurxo Gago, Rafi Kent, Adrien Michez, Martin Mokroš, Sander Mücher, Gernot Paulus.

  • Vegetation classification and species identification with UAS
  • Quantification of vegetation cover and biomass
  • Monitoring vegetation health and stress indicators
  • UAS applications in forestry, biodiversity studies, and ecosystem monitoring

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Chapter 5: Monitoring agricultural ecosystems

Kasper Johansen, Antonino Maltese, Matthew F. McCabe.

  • Estimation of soil moisture and nutrient content
  • UAS applications for precision agriculture and land management
  • Monitor tree crop structure conditions, detect plant stress, and optimize irrigation strategies based on the evaporative fraction, ultimately enhancing resource efficiency and crop productivity.

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Section 3: Soil Mapping

Chapter 6: Mapping soil properties for unmanned aerial system–based environmental monitoring

Nunzio Romano, Brigitta Szabó, Antonella Belmonte, Annamaria Castrignanò, Eyal Ben Dor, Nicolas Francos, Paolo Nasta.

  • Soil composition and quality assessment using UAS
  • Detection and mapping of soil erosion and degradation
  • Ground measurements techniques
  • Soil sampling physical and chemical properties of soil

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Chapter 7: Soil moisture monitoring using unmanned aerial system

Ruodan Zhuang, Salvatore Manfreda, Yijian Zeng, Zhongbo Su, Eyal Ben Dor, George P. Petropoulos.

  • Data fusion and integration techniques for multi-sensor UAS data
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches
  • Soil moisture monitoring based on  (apparent) thermal inertia, Kubelka–Munk model, Simplified temperature–vegetation triangle and Random forest

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Section 4: River Monitoring

Chapter 8: Geometric correction and stabilization of images collected by UASs in river monitoring

Salvador Peña-Haro, Robert Ljubičić, Dariia Strelnikova.

  • Image processing
  • Preprocessing and stabilisation
  • Real-world case studies showcasing UAS applications in riverine environment monitoring

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Chapter 9: River flow monitoring with unmanned aerial system

Dariia Strelnikova, Matthew T. Perks, Silvano F. Dal Sasso, Alonso Pizarro.

  • Current trends and future directions in UAS river monitoring
  • Image velocimetry techniques for flow velocity mapping
  • UAS applications for river flow monitoring

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Chapter 10Monitoring river channel dynamics by Unmanned Aerial Systems

László Bertalan, Anette Eltner, Ian Maddock, Alonso Pizarro.

  • Essential tools for river channel monitoring
  • Advances and challenges of using UAS methods in fluvial geomorphology
  • Survey design, horizontal and vertical channel changes, setting granulometry bathymetry

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Section 5: Tools and datasets

Chapter 11Tools and datasets for Unmanned Aerial System applications

Giuseppe Ciraolo, Flavia Tauro.

  • Popular UAS applications: available protocols and software tools
  • Harmonize existing UAS methodologies and standardize UAS-based measurements.
  • Lessons learned, challenges faced, and best practices

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Appendix A – Glossary

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Appendix B – Checklist before flying

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Appendix C – Survey description

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Appendix D – List of the available databases and tools

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The book, “Unmanned Aerial Systems for Monitoring Soil, Vegetation, and Riverine Environment,” presents a comprehensive framework for understanding and utilizing UAS in environmental monitoring. It serves as a valuable resource for researchers, professionals, and policymakers interested in harnessing the potential of UAS technology to enhance our understanding and management of soil, vegetation, and riverine environments. By delving into the applications, techniques, and case studies, this book aims to inspire further innovation and progress in the field of UAS-based environmental monitoring.